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May 25, 2014 12:31 pm

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Open to Unity Government

avatar by John Rossomando

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal (L) and PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Jewish Policy Center.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s (PIJ) top leader says he welcomes the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah even though his group is not a party.

PIJ, which is devoted to Israel’s destruction, is widely regarded as more violent than Hamas but has been an outlier in the reconciliation process between the two larger Palestinian factions. Still, it might be willing to join the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) under the right conditions.

“… [W]e welcome the reconciliation and any step that serves our people and our cause on the condition that it does not violate any of our national fundamentals,” PIJ Secretary General Ramadan Shallah told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.

Shallah, whose previous position involved teaching state university students in Florida and who was set upby Sami Al-Arian, noted that PIJ would not participate in any scenario that is “part of Oslo’s political framework,” referring to the 1994 peace deal between Israel and the PLO that created the Palestinian Authority.

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“The common denominator in this case is that it does not lead to any move to perpetuate the reality of the occupation, open the door to more concessions, or abrogate or withdraw the weapons of resistance, which is a red line for us,” Shallah said.

Dawoud Shehab, a PIJ spokesman, similarly told Iran’s Press TV, “However, what we are concerned about is that they build a real national unity and a strategy based on resistance as the way to freedom. The reconciliation should end the process of negotiation with occupation.”

If Hamas has its way, PIJ will get exactly what it is looking for. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said Tuesday that the terrorist group would continue its violent campaign against Israel, and said no compromises would be made.

“The reconciliation does not mean an end to our resistance against the invaders, resistance will continue as long as the occupation exists,” Meshaal said.

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