Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has on Tuesday renewed his rejection and condemnation of the bombing operation in Eilat which he portrayed as unnecessary and useless for the Palestinian people.

From Cairo, where he is meeting with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Abbas said such operations will not shake the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

President Abbas was also asked how the fragile Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire can be kept. Abbas responded, “Everybody is fed up with the frequent violations of the ceasefire.”

Referring to the recent clashes between the rival factions, Fatah and Hamas, Abbas added, “We feel bad over what is happening in the Palestinian territories. This distorts the image of the people’s struggle.”

As for guaranteeing that the current truces will last, Abbas said, “Only the concerned Palestinian parties can guarantee appeasement through controlling its own members.”

Abbas again portrayed the Executive Force, the security body under the command of the Hamas-led interior ministry, as illegal. He referred to the fact that he only agreed to the appointing of a number of armed men to the minister of interior on the condition that they be assimilated into the security services, rather than forming a new branch.

Abbas confirmed again that the Egyptians, who are a major partner to the Palestinians, played a great role in reaching a ceasefire between Hamas and Fatah last night.

As for whether Abbas has any specific plans intended to push the political process forward, such as a meeting with the Hamas political bureau head, Khalid Mash’al, Abbas said: “The formation of a unity government needs no meetings since there are parties who are working on that issue.”

With regard to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the plans for its reform, he said there is an agreement to hold a preparatory meeting in the Syrian capital, Damascus to determine who will participate in reforming the PLO. Once that meeting is accomplished, there will be a formal meeting in Cairo, he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak held talks with President Abbas to discuss the developments in the Palestinian arena and the means to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The meeting was attended by PLO member Yasser Abed Rabbo, the head of the PLO’s negotiations department, Saeb Erekat, and the Palestinian ambassador to Egypt, Munther Dajani.