Hamas officials make condolence calls to bitter rival Abbas

In this March 17, 2007 file photo, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, (l) and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh from Hamas, raise their linked arms as they move through the crowd at a special session of parliament in Gaza City. (AP/ Hatem Moussa)

A number of calls from terror leaders were said to be for the purpose of offering condolences on the death of a longtime Fatah official.

By World Israel News Staff 

Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas received a phone call on Tuesday evening from Hamas “political bureau” chief Ismail Haniyeh, reports the PA news agency Wafa.

He also received a call from former Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal, said Wafa.

The calls were said to be for the purpose of offering condolences on the death of a longtime Fatah official.

Fatah is the mainstream wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), of which Abbas is a leader. Hamas is a rival terror group which overthrew the PA in the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

The longtime leading Fatah figure who died was identified by Wafa as Ahmed Abdel Rahman, 76.

The PA news agency reported that Abbas received a “cable of condolences” from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group as well.

Efforts to reconcile differences between the PA and Hamas have continued intermittently over the years. However, in more recent times, Abbas is believed to have “seldom communicated” with senior Hamas leaders, says Times of Israel.

Al-Resalah satellite TV is also said to have reported the Haniyeh-Abbas conversation.

“Both Abbas and Haniyeh have recently met with Hanna Nasser, the head of the PA Central Elections Commission, several times to discuss the possibility of holding legislative and presidential elections” in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and eastern Jerusalem, the Times added.

There was no word as to whether the condolence call dealt with matters of current PA and Hamas affairs.

Israeli officials have warned of Hamas efforts to gain control over the portions of Judea and Samaria where the PA rules. Despite political tensions between Israel and the PA, security cooperation is said to be maintained, and Hamas has even accused the PA of cooperating with Israeli efforts to thwart Hamas terror.

Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 but continues to suffer air attacks, sometimes on a massive level, from the Strip, in addition to violence on the ground in the area around the border.

David Jablinowitz:
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