[The last meeting between the PNA and Hamas which took place in Cairo in December, 1995 resulted in the PNA-Hamas Cairo accord, which allowed the Hamas to carry out its actions, in area that the PNA would approve – db]


Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is to hold talks with the Islamic group Hamas in Cairo next week to thrash out outstanding differences, newly appointed interior minister Hani al-Hassan told reporters at a security workshop in Jericho the only Palestinian city not occupied by the Israeli army. Hassan said that the meeting would take place next week, although he gave no details about what would be discussed or which officials would be present. Hamas did not deny or confirm the scheduled meeting.

“There are a lot of things we have to solve between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority,” he said Sunday. Relations between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority deteriorated sharply last month after a renegade Hamas cell killed a Palestinian police chief, sparking armed clashes in a Gaza Strip refugee camp.

He said the meeting had been arranged through the mediation of the European Union, which earlier this year tried to broker an agreement among all Palestinian factions to end attacks on Israeli civilians but failed after Israel killed Hamas military leader, Salah Shehada, along with 14 civilians last July. Palestinian sources said that suicide attacks especially against civilians inside the green line would be the center of the discussions.

Fateh movement, headed by President Yasser Arafat, believes that suicide attacks inside the green line is the reason behind the international view of the current Intifada as an act of violence and not resistance of the occupation. Hamas insists that suicide operation is the only option left for the Palestinian people to force Israel out of the Palestinian areas.

According to official sources, Fateh delegation will be made up of Zakareya el-Agha, Mohammad Rashid, Samer Mashharawi and Ahmad Ghuneim, while Hamas’ delegation will include Khaled Mash’al, Osama Hamdan, Imad el- Alami, and Moussa Abu Marzouq. The sources confirmed that media will not be present in the meeting and that the final location of the meeting will not be disclosed for the public for security reasons. This article ran in the November 7, 2002 issue of the Jerusalem Times