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palestinian groups to meet

  1. The following is not from Monty Python's Life Of Brian.



    By SAUD ABU RAMADAN

    GAZA, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Egypt is planning to host a comprehensive dialogue among Palestinian national and Islamic groups in early January, the Palestinian Authority's planning minister announced Saturday.

    Nabil Shaath told reporters the gathering's purpose would be "to reach a common working program that is binding to everyone and gives the Palestinian Authority the opportunity to negotiate with Israel on a cease-fire."

    Together, representatives of the various factions would craft "a document of honor" to be called "the Cairo declaration" which would commit all the participating parties to respect it, he said.

    He said the Palestinian Authority supports a cease-fire on two stages: first between civilians in both sides, Israelis and Palestinians, and then the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

    The Egyptian government has officially invited the Fatah movement, chaired by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat; Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas; Islamic Jihad; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or PFLP; the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or DFLP; and three other factions of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

    All the groups "welcomed and respected the Egyptian invitation," Shaath said, explaining, "Egypt coordinates with the Palestinian Authority and briefs it over all developments to make the Palestinian dialogue succeeding."

    However, the two radical PLO left-wing factions based in Syria, the PFLP and the DFLP, urged Palestinians on Saturday to continue the intifada, or uprising, that broke out more than two years ago in the territories.

    The two groups, which oppose the peace process, said in a joint statement that the intifada has to be protected "in order to achieve the national goals that the Palestinian people are looking for." Palestianians need to look to themselves, not outside promises or peace plans, to win their struggle, they said.

    The PFLP claimed responsibility for the assassination of Israel's tourism minister, Rechavam Zeevi, outside his hotel room in October 2001.

    In addition Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the leader of Hamas, told reporters that despite the dialogue in Cairo, his movement's armed wing has no plans to stop suicide bombing attacks against Israel.

    "As long as Israel keeps occupying the Palestinian lands and kills the innocent people, Hamas will not stop its martyrdom operations (suicide bombing attacks) against Israel," said Yassin.

    Yassin, the founder of the movement, predicted that the end of the state of Israel "would occur after 25 years." He and his group do not recognize the Palestinian Authority, which was established in the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords, nor the state of Israel.




    Copyright 2002 by United Press International.
    All rights reserved.

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