[With thanks to www.imra.org.il for referring this article to our attention-
What we have here is a factual, matter of fact news report about how Abu Mazen, also known as Abu Abbas, is going out of his way to include active, armed terrorists in his cabinet]

The new Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, visited Gaza Strip on Saturday for the first time since his appointment, meeting leaders of Palestinian movements as he works to form a Cabinet. Abbas has been consulting with Palestinian leaders about the new cabinet he intends to form and present in two weeks to the Parliament.

Abbas had almost three hours of talks with leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza on Sunday night. He needs at least tacit cooperation from Muslim militants for the reforms demanded by mediators to work

Hamas political leader Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi described the meeting as a “positive exchange of ideas” but said the idea of an Islamist role in Abbas’s government was not discussed. Islamic militants previously rejected Abbas’s appointment as irrelevant and vowed to continue attacks against Israel. Hamas and Islamic Jihad – groups that have claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks that have killed hundreds of Israelis during nearly 30 months of fighting – are opposed to negotiations with Israel.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) announced at the end of their meeting with Abbas their decision not to join his government. Jamil Majdalawie, PFLP’s representative in Gaza, said “since the political background of the new government is based on Oslo agreements and the Quartet’s roadmap, we informed Abbas of our decision not to join in his government.”

The so called Quartet -made of the US, EU, UN and Russia- created a three phase road map to end hostilities between Palestinians and Israel which includes a Palestinian state by year 2005. The US has a final say over the plan and has sidelined with Israel and decided to delay announcing the roadmap until the end of the war on Iraq.

Meanwhile, The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced it has no objections to join in Abbas government, however, it demanded Abbas to create a national unity government admitting that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP’s absence would have negative affects.

Fateh members declined to give details about their meeting with the prime minister, and Abbas refused to answer media questions on his consultations

saying that all efforts should be concentrated on enforcing the Palestinian right for freedom and liberation to statehood with Jerusalem as its capital.

He added, “We believe in political pluralism, that is, everyone has the right to freedom of expression but in a modern and democratic way.” “It’s important to stop the demilitarization of civil society and intervention of security apparatuses in illegal issues,” he asserted.

Arafat appointed Abbas under pressure from home and abroad for reforms. Israel and the United States have refused to deal with the Palestinian leader, charging that he has not done enough to stop Palestinian violence.

This article appeared in the April 3rd issue of The Jerusalem Times