The PalestinÂian resistance movement HaÂmas is ready to join the PalesÂtine Liberation Organisation, which groups together all the major Palestinian factions, one of its main leaders said yesterday.
Â“Our decision to participate in the PLO is not new. It is a long-standing and clear decision,Â” Mahmud Zahar said after talks with Palestinian Pewsident and PLO Chairman Mahmud Abbas in Gaza City.
Disagreements over the PLO charter and the size of HamasÂ’s representation in the council had delayed its incorporation.
Progress, however, was made on these matters during inter-Palestinian talks that took place in Cairo in the middle of March, Zahar said.
Â“A committee grouping the general secretaries (of the Palestinian factions) was set up to look at this issue and the results have opened the way to the entry of HaÂmas and other factions into the PLO,Â” he said.
Zahar said that HamasÂ’s entry did not mean that it has renounced its commitment to a Palestine incorporating modern-day Israel.
The PLO charter calls for the creation of a Palestinian state only in land conquered by Israel in 1967.
Â“We are renouncing not one iota of Palestinian land but we can reach a temporary compromise with other factions,Â” he said.
Fateh is the largest movement in the PLO, which represents Palestinians living in the occupied territories as well as the diaspora.
The PLO controls the Palestinian Authority set up by the 1993 Oslo accords.
Abbas succeeded veteran Palestinian President Yasser Arafat both as president and head of the PLO following his death in November.