Mahmoud Abbas
Photo: EPA

Report: Abbas, Mashaal to visit Gaza later this month

Palestinian sources tell Al-Hayat Palestinian president will arrive in Strip as part of 'broader' reconciliation deal; claim Netanyahu agreed to release 40 prisoners detained prior to Oslo accords

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal are scheduled to visit Gaza towards the end of February within the framework of a "broader" reconciliation agreement than the one signed in Doha recently, the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat reported Wednesday, citing Palestinian sources.


Related articles:


According to one of the sources, the new agreement will "pave the way for the resumption of negotiations with Israel."


The sources said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to release 40 Palestinian prisoners who had been detained prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords, and an additional 1,000 prisoners as part of a series of Israeli concessions aimed at bringing the Palestinians back to the negotiation table.


יבקרו ביחד בעזה? אבו מאזן ומשעל בחתימת הסכם הפיוס (צילום: רויטרס)

Abbas (L) and Mashaal (R) sign unity deal in Doha (Photo: Reuters)


The sources said Abbas would agree to resume talks if Netanyahu does in fact release the prisoners.


On Friday Ynet quoted a senior Palestinian official as saying that the Palestinian Authority has recently rejected an Israeli "incentives package" meant to encourage the PA's return to the negotiating table.


The official told Ynet that Abbas rejected the deal, which would have seen Israel free 30 Palestinian prisoners - some of whom were arrested prior to the Oslo Accords - as well as extend the Palestinian security forces' authority in Area B.


Ramallah insists that in order to resume the negotiations, Israel must first freeze settlement construction and agree to the two-state solution in full.


Abbas and Mashaal are scheduled to meet in Cairo next week and decide on the make-up of the interim Palestinian unity government.


A Hamas source estimated that Mashaal would not arrive in Gaza with Abbas due to disagreements within the Islamist group over the reconciliation agreement with Abbas' Fatah movement.


According to the source, Mashaal and Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh met in Doha on Sunday, but the two failed to resolve their differences over Mashaal's decision to allow Abbas to head the interim government. A number of Hamas leaders have claimed that Mashaal overstepped his authority by signing the unity deal with the Palestinian president.


However, the source said Hamas would not renege on the deal, adding that Abbas must now release Hamas operatives who are imprisoned in the PA.


You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at:



  • Receive Ynetnews updates directly to your desktop 


פרסום ראשון: 02.15.12, 10:02
 new comment
This will delete your current comment