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Meshaal: Palestinian unity will lead to mass protests

JTA

December 23, 2011 | 2:12 pm

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, left, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands before their meeting in Cairo on Dec. 21. Photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Al Hams

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, left, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands before their meeting in Cairo on Dec. 21. Photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Al Hams

Palestinian unity will spur mass popular protests against Israel, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said.

“Now we have a common ground that we can work on—the popular resistance, which presents the power of people,” Meshaal said Thursday in an interview with the Associated Press in Cairo, where Hamas and Fatah agreed this week on the terms for Hamas joining the Palestine Liberation Organization, a precursor to unity.

Meshaal likened such protests to those characterizing the so-called Arab Spring, which has so far toppled leaderships in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya; has spurred mass uprisings in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain; and has spurred reforms in other countries. 

There have been few such Palestinian protests, aside from a few early spurts separately targeting Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

Meshaal said that Hamas could agree to a Palestinian state that exists within 1967 lines, but that it would not describe this as a permanent solution. Nor would he renounce violence against Israel.

Israel has said that it would cut off the Palestinian Authority in the event of its formal unification with Hamas. The Fatah-dominated P.A. currently controls the West Bank, while Hamas controls Gaza.

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