Reconciliation deal ends black division perpetually: Abbas
Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday in Cairo that the Palestinians have agreed to end the page of the internal Palestinian division perpetually,Xinhua reported.
"We turned the page of the black internal division perpetually, " Abbas said here at the ceremony of signing on the internal Palestinian reconciliation agreement with the Islamic Hamas movement and other Palestinian political powers and factions.
The Hamas movement "is part of the Palestinian political arena, " Abbas said, adding that the Palestinians rebuff any intervention into the internal Palestinian affairs.
"Israel has to choose between peace and settlement," he said, adding "Israel is using the Palestinian reconciliation as an excuse to escape from peace."
By proclaiming the reconciliation pact, rival Hamas and Fatah party, end around four years of internal division, which began when Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007 and routed Abbas security forces.
Meanwhile, Hamas politburo Khaled Meshaal said during the ceremony that "we are ready to pay every price for the reconciliation and our battle is only with Israel and not with any of the factions."
He added that Hamas "wants to see an independent Palestinian state established with sovereignty on the territories of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, without Jewish settlement and with the right of return."
Before the speeches of Abbas, Meshaal and Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi, chief of the Egyptian intelligence security Murad Muwafi handed Abbas the Egyptian pact of reconciliation, sources in the meeting said.
The sources said that the reconciliation pact was handed to Abbas and is signed by 13 factions including Hamas and Fatah movements.
"We want to have one political reference, which is Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and one Palestinian National Authority (PNA)," Meshaal said, adding "we are ready to go for elections within one year."