In a show of unity, Leaders of all Palestinian factions are set to hold a meeting to discuss “unified strategy” for countering Israeli-US conspiracies, including their land grab agenda, following a controversial Washington-brokered normalization accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Representatives of various Palestinian factions will attend the meeting via video conference on Thursday. The gathering, the first of its kind since 2013, is headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Representatives of the Palestinian factions in the occupied West Bank have been invited to Abbas’s office in Ramallah to join the gathering. The leaders of Palestinian factions abroad will join the meeting from the Palestinian embassy in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
Abbas is scheduled to deliver a speech to the gathering via videoconference.
The rare meeting comes after an August 13 announcement that Israel and the UAE have agreed to normalize ties.
The highly controversial deal, which has since been widely condemned across the occupied Palestinian territories and the Muslim world, was brokered by US President Donald Trump, who has attempted to paint it as a big breakthrough.
“The main purpose of the meeting is to launch important steps towards achieving [Palestinian] national unity and foiling the annexation conspiracy, apartheid, settlement and the Judaization of Jerusalem [al-Quds],” said Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for the Palestinian presidency.
“The meeting itself constitutes a clear message to all that the Palestinian people and their holy sites are bigger than all the conspiracies,” he said.
Abu Rudaineh added that the meeting would also send a “powerful and clear message” to all about the need to “protect the foundations that will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital,” and that the Palestinians continue to adhere to the Arab Peace Initiative in order to thwart free normalization between the Arab countries and Israel.
The so-called Arab Peace Initiative, which was proposed by Saudi Arabia, calls on Israel to agree to a “two-state solution” along the 1967 lines and a “just” solution to the Palestinian refugee issue.
Abu Rudaineh said that Palestinian unity and harmony will thwart conspiracies “targeting our lands and holy sites.”
Referring to the recent Israel-UAE normalization accord, he said, “No agreement will pass without the consent of the Palestinian people and their leadership. The only way to achieve security and stability is through the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), the sole representative of the Palestinians under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas.”
PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said that Thursday’s meeting of the leaders of Palestinian leaders “shows that we are facing a new phase in confronting the UAE-US-Israeli agreement that seeks to impose the ‘Deal of the Century”, laid out by US President Donald Trump on the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Defying international outcry, Trump in late January announced the general provisions of the plan that he has dubbed ‘deal of century’ at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side.
The ‘Vision for Peace’, which all Palestinian groups have unanimously rejected, would, among other contentious terms, enshrine occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allow the regime to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Erekat said that the Thursday meeting shows that the Palestinians and all their factions and representatives “are prepared to face all challenges.”
He once again accused Abu Dhabi of stabbing the Palestinians in the back with a “poisonous dagger.”
Ahmed Majdalani, a senior PLO official, said the meeting aims to reach agreement among the Palestinian factions on a national program to confront the Trump peace plan, Israel’s “annexation” scheme and normalization between Israel and some Arab countries, as well as consolidating unity between Palestinian factions.
Qais Abdel Karim, a representative of the PLO’s Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said that Thursday’s meeting was extremely important because it would pave the way for achieving Palestinian unity “at a time when the Palestinians are facing conspiracies and dangers.”
Hamas leader in Beirut to meet Palestinian factions
Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, arrived in Beirut earlier this week to participate in the meeting.
According to Ali Baraka, Hams representative in Lebanon, Haniyeh will meet representatives of other Palestinian factions in rare talks on how to respond to such accords and to a Middle East peace plan announced by Washington this year.
Baraka said that Thursday’s joint discussions in Ramallah and Beirut aim to develop “a unified Palestinian strategy to confront normalization schemes … and to reject plans to annex the West Bank as well as [Trump’s] ‘deal of the century’.”
The last time most heads of Palestinian factions held joint talks was in 2013 in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
Resistance groups urge stronger unity
In a joint statement carried by the Lebanese al-Mayadeen television channel, Palestinian resistance groups described the joint meeting as a key step toward consolidating unity among Palestinian factions and countering schemes to undermine the Palestinian issue.
The statement said that the Oslo Accord, which had guaranteed a “two-state solution” to the Arab-Israel conflict, must be annulled.
It stressed the right of the Palestinian people to confront the Israeli regime with all possible means.
The resistance groups also called for an agreement on a Palestinian national strategy based on fixed principles for a comprehensive confrontation with the occupying regime.