JERUSALEM – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization would join ranks with the Hamas terror group if it agreed to share power in the Gaza Strip or if Israel launched a major attack in Gaza, a member of Abbas' government told WND on Thursday during an exclusive interview.
"If Hamas agrees to stop their coup in Gaza then why shouldn't we (Fatah) be together with them? We are open for dialogue and reconciliation," said Qadura Fares, a member of the PA parliament and a top minister in Abbas' government.
Fares' remarks come one week after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert committed at last week's US-sponsored Annapolis summit to aim at concluding an agreement with Abbas by next year in which the Jewish state is widely expected to evacuate swaths of the strategic West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem, handing the territories to Abbas.
Fares' statements also come as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday asked Congress to approve a $400 million aid package, stating the massive new proposed funding was meant to boost Abbas against Hamas.
Fares told WND today if Israel launched an attack on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Fatah should come to Hamas' aid even if the group doesn't agree to a power share in Gaza.
"Fatah will try to defend Gaza if Hamas is attacked there by Israel. We must stand together to fight the occupation," said Fares.
'Begin non-conditional dialogue'
Hamas last year won a majority of Palestinian parliamentary seats and forged a national unity government with Abbas' Fatah party which was maintained until Hamas took complete control of the Gaza Strip this past summer, seizing all US-backed Fatah security compounds in the territory in less than seven days.
Since then, the US reportedly has provided emergency aid, including funds and weapons shipments, to bolster Abbas against Hamas in the West Bank.
But there have been reports Hamas and Fatah might reconcile.
According to Fatah political sources speaking to WND, the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian governments have been moderating between their party and Hamas in an attempt to reform a Palestinian unity government. The sources said Abbas set as a precondition for reconciliation Hamas giving up its seizure of Gaza and has expressed willingness to allow Egyptian forces to control Fatah's former compounds in Gaza instead of Fatah forces immediately entering the territory.
The Fatah sources said Abbas did not ask Hamas to recognize Israel or agree to commitments expressed at last week's Annapolis as a precondition for any reconciliation.
Meanwhile some Fatah officials are reportedly urging Abbas to rejoin Hamas without any preconditions. Yesterday, members of Fatah's revolutionary voted for Abbas to hold unconditional and immediate talks with Hamas aimed at a new unity government.
In response, Hamas leader in Gaza and deposed Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh today renewed his previous calls for dialogue with Abbas.
"We believe it is necessary to immediately begin a non-conditional dialogue that will work to heal the Palestinian wounds," said Haniyeh.
Reprinted by permission of WorldNetDaily.com