RAMALLAH, May 8 (JMCC) - Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, speaking to
the Wall Street Journal
, says that now that a reconciliation deal has been inked with its rival Fateh, the groups will coordinate their positions on negotiations with and resistance to Israel.
Mr. Meshaal said that decisions on negotiations with Israel, domestic governance, foreign affairs, domestic security and resistance and other field activities against Israel, would all be reached in consensus between Palestinian factions.
If Mr. Meshaal follows through on his pledge, it would mean that Hamas would no longer attack Israel without the agreement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader, who has long opposed violence.
Aides to Mr. Abbas said that in closed-door negotiations in Cairo ahead of the signing of the Egypt-brokered reconciliation agreement, Mr. Meshaal said his movement was prepared to adopt a strategy of nonviolent resistance, at least for the time being. They accept nonviolent resistance. That's what Meshaal said in closed meetings, said Nabil Shath, a senior aide to Mr. Abbas who was present in those meetings. He said 'we cannot do violence and you do nonviolence. It does not work out.'
The article went on to cite Diana Buttu, a former aide to Abbas, as saying that Palestinians will have to craft a new way of working together, or the factional agreement will fall apart quickly.