‘Uniting the Ranks’ – Hamas, Fatah, Other Groups to Meet in Moscow for Talks

Representatives of various Palestinian resistance groups including Hamas and Fatah are heading to Moscow for talks. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that an intra-Palestinian meeting would be held in Moscow from February 29 to March 1 – 2.  

Representatives of various Palestinian resistance groups including Hamas and Fatah are heading to Moscow for talks on the ongoing war in Gaza as well as the potential formation of a unified Palestinian government, according to reports.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told the state news agency TASS on February 16 that an intra-Palestinian meeting would be held in Moscow from February 29 to March 1 – 2.  

Bognadov also told TASS that representatives of about 14 Palestinian organizations have been invited from various Middle Eastern countries, including Syria and Lebanon.

“Moscow’s goal is to help the various Palestinian forces agree to unite their ranks politically,” he said, according to Anadolu.

We proceed from the fact that the Palestine Liberation Organization has been and remains the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, it has been accepted by the international community and by us.”

PA Government Resignation

The Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Monday officially submitted his government’s resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian Authority Government Resigns – Developing Story

In a statement, Shtayyeh said that “this decision comes in light of the political, security, and economic developments related to the aggression against Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, and the unprecedented escalation in the West Bank, including the city of Jerusalem.”

He explained that he sees “the next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the emerging reality in the Gaza Strip, the national unity talks, and the urgent need for an inter-Palestinian consensus based on a national basis, broad participation, unity of ranks, and the extension of the Palestinian Authority’s sovereignty over the entire land of Palestine.”

Negotiation Battle

On Monday, Hamas Politburo member, Muhammad Nazzal, confirmed a formal meeting was scheduled with the Fatah movement and other Palestinian factions in Moscow.

“We are engaged in a fierce political negotiation battle that is no less significant than the battle we are fighting on the ground,” Nazzal reportedly told Al Jazeera. 

He emphasized that “We are committed to the negotiation process, aiming to achieve the interests of the Palestinian people.”

Paris Talks

The Moscow talks follow a round of talks held in Paris a few days ago, following which senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan said that leaked reports of an upcoming truce does not reflect reality. 

Hamdan said “the leak of the Paris document details aims to pressure and create a state of weakness among the Palestinians.” 

In fact, “the Israeli side refused to agree on the draft presented by the United States,” Hamdan stressed, describing the Paris draft as “an American proposal aimed at giving Netanyahu more time to prepare for a new attack” on Gaza. 

“The American draft agreement aims to save face for Israel,” the Hamas official added, as the Palestinian priorities of stopping the (Israeli) aggression, ending the siege, bringing aid to besieged Gaza, and exchanging prisoners come later.”

“There is an Israeli maneuver to escape all commitments, (and) promoting the Paris draft agreement is a propaganda situation that does not reach what we want,” Hamdan said.

‘Helping Israel Save Face’ – Hamas Addresses Gaza Truce Reports

Officials from Israel, Egypt, Qatar and the US reportedly held a meeting in Cairo earlier this month to discuss a ceasefire in Gaza and a prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and the Israeli government.

Hamas reportedly said it was not informed of that meeting.

On February 7, Hamas proposed a three-stage plan for a Gaza ceasefire that includes a 135-day pause in the fighting in return for the release of captives. Netanyahu, however, rejected the proposal and vowed to continue the war.

Rising Death Toll

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 29,954 Palestinians have been killed, and 70,325 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. 

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

GAZA LIVE BLOG: Israeli Soldiers Killed, Wounded | Israeli Massacres Continue | Hezbollah Missiles Target Upper Galilee – Day 145

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

(PC, Anadolu)

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