Four Arab countries obstructing Palestinian reconciliation

Palestinians hold a poster of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency)

Mohammad Ayesh

Middle East Eye  /  October 5, 2020

Four Arab countries have rejected an agreement of understanding between the Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas which are aimed at achieving reconciliation after a 14-year political rift, the Al-Akhbar newspaper reported, citing informed sources.

The Lebanese newspaper quoted its sources as saying that both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the latter of which signed a normalisation deal with Israel last month, have endorsed Egyptian and Jordanian efforts to thwart the outcomes of the Istanbul agreement.

The hurdle has so far resulted in the Palestinian Authority’s delay in fulfilling its obligations as stated by the agreement, including the issuance of a presidential decree to hold elections.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was supposed to issue a decree to set the date for the general elections according to a timetable that is not to exceed six months. However, the pressures exerted by the four Arab countries, in addition to moves taken by Israel in the West Bank, have contributed to hindering this step.

The sources added that a Fatah delegation, which visited Cairo last week following the Istanbul talks, received a message from Egyptian authorities that Cairo is “not satisfied with the way the agreement was announced in Turkey”.

Fatah responded by saying that “the agreement was signed in the Palestinian consulate in Istanbul without Turkey’s sponsorship or mediation and that the current Palestinian strategy is based on the policy of bilateral meetings”. 

However, the sources said, the Egyptians were not satisfied with the clarification.

Mohammad Ayesh is an Arab journalist currently based in London