In October of this year, Fatah and Hamas finalised an agreement to form a Palestinian unity government after years of deadlock between the two largest Palestinian parties.
However, in spite of October’s Cairo Agreement, the parties had struggled to implement the terms of the accord, especially in respect of transferring certain administrative powers in Gaza to the Palestinian Authority.
Today however, both parties seem to be agreed on forming a united front in the face of Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem/Al-Quds as the Israeli capital.
Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) spokesman Wasel Abu Yousef spoke to Sputnik and said,
“We (Fatah and Hamas) are now united to stand against the occupation government and the decision of the US on Jerusalem. We confirm as the Palestinian movements […] that Jerusalem is the internal capital of Palestine”.
When asked about the specific call from Hamas for a Third Intifada, Yousef stated,
“The issue is open, the Palestinian people will not remain silent, as well as the Arab community, the Islamic community and its peoples, the Christian world too. There are Muslim and Christian shrines in Jerusalem… Any action related to this city can be considered playing with fire”.
Earlier, the Palestinian Foreign Minister confirmed that Palestine will no longer engage in talks with the US over the long stalled peace process, nor will Palestinian President Abbas meet with the US Vice President who will visit the region later in December.
Palestinian officials, including the Palestinian Ambassador to Russia have stated that they are seeking new international partners to broker a final peace settlement, now that the US is no longer seen as adequate.
When asked about this, Yousef stated,
“Russian President [Vladimir Putin] expressed his very clear point of view, saying that international resolutions and international law are the basis for the resolution of the conflict in the region. We also believe that Russia and President Putin are friends of the Palestinian people and are always on the side of the legitimate international resolutions and international law.
The United States has found itself isolated in the face of the reaction of all countries that warn about the danger of these actions… We are striving for an international peace conference under the auspices of the United Nations with the participation of our friends — the Russian Federation, China and many others… to reaffirm that it is necessary to comply with UN Security Council and the General Assembly resolutions on the Palestinian problem”.
This is the clearest indication yet, that Palestine will call upon Russia as a neutral mediator in the long running dispute.