Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The new situation created by the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip and the subsequent decision of Arab states but also the United States and Israel to support Palestinian National Authority (PNA) President Mahmoud Abbas will be at the centre of discussions to be held next week, probably Monday, during a summit that will include leaders from Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the PNA.
The regional summit, initiated by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, is scheduled to take place at the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, said Yaser Abed Rabbo, one of Mr Abbas’ close aides.
Another senior aide to the Palestinian leader, Saeb Erekat, said Thursday that Abbas will call for a resumption of peace talks with Israel, arguing that only progress toward Palestinian statehood can serve as a true buffer against Hamas.
“We need to deliver the end of occupation, a Palestinian state. If we don't have hope, Hamas will export despair to the people,” Erekat said.
As immediate steps, Erekat said, Abbas will ask Israel to remove West Bank checkpoints that disrupt daily life and trade, and transfer hundreds of millions of dollars in Palestinian tax funds Israel froze after Hamas came to power last year.
Meanwhile, for the first time since the new Palestinian government was established, senior level contacts between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were initiated on Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke Wednesday on the telephone with Salam Fayyad, the PA prime minister, and discussed the implications of the Hamas takeover in the Gaza Strip and the possibilities of dialogue now that the Islamists out of the government.