Abu Zohri to Ikhwanweb: Hamas Recognizes PLO as a Frame of Reference

Abu Zohri to Ikhwanweb: Hamas Recognizes
the PLO as a Frame of Reference and Sole
Representative of the Palestinian People but Only After Rebuilding it on Sound Democratic And Political Bases

Mr. Sami Abu Zohri, Spokesman of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) affirmed, in a special statement to Ikhwanweb, that his movement recognizes the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the frame of reference and sole representative of the Palestinian people but only after rebuilding it on sound democratic and political bases, as was agreed among all Palestinian factions in Cairo.

He pointed out that the Fath movement, through its procrastination, bears alone the responsibility for the the delay in rebuilding the PLO.

The Executive Committee of the PLO has refused on 22 March the political program of the new Palestinian Government and required it to recognize the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

Abu Zohri stressed that “this decision has no value from the legislative point of view and will not trigger a constitutional crisis since the Executive Committee of the PLO does not include all national factions, including Hamas which has obtained 60 percent of the votes of the Palestinian people in the latest legislative elections.”

Abu Zohri added: “We have reaffirmed our interest in the PLO, have stuck to it and considered it as the frame of reference for the general Palestinian decision-making. We have inserted an item in the political program of the Government stating, ‘the Government confirms the agreement among Palestinian factions in March 2005 in Cairo as to the subject  of the PLO. It also confirms the need to expeditiously implement the required procedures for that purpose.’

He explained that the point of discord in this context is the fact that the above-mentioned Cairo agreement contains clear procedures relating to the modalities of developing the PLO, starting with the formation of a committee of secretaries-general to prepare a formula for rebuilding the PLO on new sound political and organizational bases. We are therefore in favor of having the PLO as the frame of reference for Palestinian action and as its representative, but only after reforming it so as to enable all factions to participate in it in a proper way.

This is why we have refused to state in the political program of the Government that the PLO is the representative of all factions while we are still outside it. The Executive Committee has not complied with any agreement in this regard, but we nevertheless stress our support in principle for maintaining this important institution- in other words, the only existing difference is that while we want to reform it, others want it to stay unchanged.”

With regard to the most salient differences between Hamas and other factions, Abu Zohri said, “First of all, the agreements signed with the power of occupation, as many of those factions have required that the political program of the government should include the full acceptance of all agreements signed with that occupying power and this is unacceptable because some of those agreements recognize the legitimacy of the “Israeli” occupation.

 We reject that and it is counter to the program on the basis of which we were elected and to the rights of our Palestinian people.”

Many of those agreements, he added, constituted an affront and a humiliation, referring to “what happened with regard to the Jericho agreement, which represented a detestable form of humiliation for us”.

He drew attention to the fact that “several parliamentarian blocs refuse the agreements signed with the occupation authorities.

 In order to reach an agreement with ‘Abu Ali Mustafa bloc’, we put forth a compromise in the Government program whereby ‘the Government will deal in a spirit of high responsibility with the signed agreements, in a way that would protect the high interests of our people, safeguard its rights and without prejudice to its invariable objectives’, but unfortunately the bloc refused that wording.”

He went on to say, “the second issue is the decisions of the international legality, which we have been asked by other blocs to fully comply with.

But given the non-compliance by the occupation authorities with those decisions, some of which recognize the legitimacy of the occupation at the expense of our people’s rights, we proposed a compromise under which we would deal with those decisions with responsibility insofar as they are not incompatible with the rights, interests and invariable objectives of our people. This also was rejected by them.”.