[The rationale used by Israel and the West to ask for weapons for Abbas is to help him in his supposed war against Hamas. The following news release represents one of many indications that Abbas is determined to coopt Hamas and not fight the Hamas. -DB]

GAZA, Palestine, August 10, 2005 – President Mahmoud Abbas met yesterday evening with a delegate of senior leaders of Hamas Movement in his presidential premises. He later described the meeting as “cordial” and “positive”.

The official spokesman of the presidency Nabil Abu-Rudenh dubbed the meeting as positive, where an atmosphere of cordiality prevailed. Through the meeting, they touched upon the planned Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank.

They also, discussed the issue of the coming legislative elections along with some other issues that are of no little account as for the Palestinians. The meeting, as Abu-Rudenah alluded, falls under the dialogue principle with all factions.

Mr. Sameer Al-Masharawy, a member of the Mobilization and recruitment Office (of Fatah Movement), and Ismail Hania one of the political leaders of Hamas movement held a joint press conference late evening.

Al-Masharawy said “we all realize the importance of the national unity, not least, in this critical situation, and both of Fatah and Hamas movements agree on the necessity of finding bases that govern the national relations and enhance the national unity.

He also referred that this meeting which came in the wake of the deplorable events, reinforced the dialogue theory. And he added that all the differences on the political arena are legal and normal, and comes as a result of the political multiplicity, but should be resolved within the rule which guarantees them in the proper course.

Al-Masharawy stressed that it was agreed upon forming specialized committees that will start on the coming Saturday within the framework of the mutual conversation between the Palestinian factions, particularly Hamas movement, in order to put the agreed upon rules into effect, not least, those connected with the municipality and the legislative elections, and the National Committee for Deliberations.

Mr. Hania said on his part that, the meeting approached a lot of pivotal issues that are of great concern to the Palestinians, specially the issue of the Israeli withdrawal which came about as an upshot of the Palestinian endurance and resistance.

Mr. Hania said also, “we have a real desire to achieve a national unity and organization, in particular while entering this stage of liberating a small precious part of our Palestinian land”

And he added, “We discussed a lot of dossiers, including the election dossier with its two divisions.” Alluding, that his Movement (Hamas) cleared its attitude in which held fast on its desire to start the election within the current year (2005), but President Abass stated that the election will take place in January_2006.

He also, referred that his movement (Hamas) presented conservations according this issue, and stressed at the same time the principle of taking part in the elections.

Furthermore, he made clear that they touched upon the withdrawal issue, where they agreed upon forming National Observation Committee, to overlook the process of setting the rules which guarantee the proper manner of the withdrawal.

He stated also, that they discussed the Cairo agreements, and focused on the case of freeing the prisoners, on the ground that it was one stipulation of the truce, that was conferred to the Palestinian factions.