Leaders of Palestinian factions are debating a proposed peace plan with Israel but there are signs the governing Hamas faction will reject it.
The proposal, presented by President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday, calls for Palestinian statehood but implicitly recognises Israel. But Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, speaking to worshippers at a mosque,vowed his group would not make any political concessions. That has been interpreted as an indicated the plan will be rejected. Abbas gave the government ten days to back the proposal or face a referendum on it. If it does go to a popular vote that would amount to a vote of confidence in the Hamas government which came to power after elections in January. Palestinians in Gaza had mixed views on the idea. “The last elections weren’t long ago, it was like a referendum. It’s going to be a waste of time. The referendum was done three months ago, for the parliament. We will return to the same point and the same end,” said one man.“I hope all of them will just overcome their own interests and think about Palestine and the Palestinian people and find solutions that can help all of us. Not only the parties themselves.” said another. The proposal came during talks to end a bloody feud between Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah faction.