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Abbas takes pride in rejecting US request

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
In recent speeches, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has called on Hamas to sign a reconciliation agreement with Fatah, and has boasted that he did not give in to American pressure. US had asked Abbas not to sign an agreement with Hamas.

Speaking of reconciliation with Hamas,
Abbas insisted that the two factions agree
on essential issues:

"There is no disagreement between us
[Fatah and Hamas]:
About belief? None!
About policy? None!
About [violent] resistance? None!"

Referring to US pressure to refrain from signing an agreement with Hamas, Abbas said that he had been subjected to "pressure" by the Americans, but that he had resisted that pressure and signed a preliminary agreement.

The following are excerpts from Mahmoud Abbas's two statements:

"We have said, more than once, that we are opposed to the rockets which are of no use. And [Hamas] has said that we are weak, that we don't want [violent] resistance, and we don't want, and we don't want. They [Hamas] have confronted us with agreements [signed] with other organizations [in Gaza], and they have even begun preventing [terror attacks], and they have even begun to strike at anyone who tries to carry out acts of [violent] resistance...
In short, there is no disagreement between us [Fatah and Hamas]: About belief? None! About policy? None! About [violent] resistance? None! So what do you [Hamas] disagree about? Why are you not signing the [reconciliation] agreement?"
[PA TV (Fatah), Dec. 31, 2009]

Note that the Arabic word aqida, here translated as "belief," also means "faith," "doctrine," "creed" and "ideology." [Wehr, 2000].

"In a meeting with the Kuwaiti press... President [Abbas] expressed willingness to sign a document of national reconciliation with Hamas... Concerning the agreement expressed by the head of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, to sign the agreement and the question of whether the two sides are being subjected to external pressure, the President confirmed that he had been subjected to heavy pressure by the Americans, and that they had asked him not to sign, but he had signed [a preliminary agreement - Ed.] He said: '[For] anyone who claims that I am acceding to [American] pressure - I am not acceding to them. I have a great number of examples [proving] this.' He emphasized that the national interest was far more important than the other matters."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 7, 2010]