Fatah officials visiting Washington: Illogical to dismantle armed factions
After visiting Washington Fateh officials fail to achieve major results
By TJT Staff
The Jerusalem Times (independent Palestinian weekly) 30 October 2003
Three Senior Fateh Officials ended up a one week visit to Washington last
Friday for talks with US officials without any major result. The delegation,
which included lawmakers Hatem Abdel Qader, Qadora Fares, and Member of
Fateh Higher Committee Ahmad Ghaneim, had been invited by Democratic Members
The visit was "important and constructive" and aimed to get U.S support for
a mutual truce with Israel, Ghaneim told The Jerusalem Times adding that he
and his colleagues met with David Satterfield, Deputy Assistant Secretary of
State for Near East Affairs, Dennis Ross, a Former Middle East Envoy, and
American Jewish leaders.
We discussed with US officials different issues, including the dismantling
of armed factions and lifting the siege on President Yasser Arafat, the
elected and legitimate Palestinian leader, he said. "We clarified to US
officials that these factions are part of the Palestinian society and the
demand to dismantle them is illogical and meaningless."
We stressed that only a mutual truce will end violence and revive peace
process, but disarming factions will push for a civil war, which is totally
unacceptable, Ghaneim added. Fateh officials raised PNA objections to
Israel's construction of the separation wall that cuts deep into the
Palestinian areas and undermines President Bush's vision for a two state
They also discussed with the Americans the unofficial peace accord concluded
last week between left-wing Israeli and senior Palestinian politicians. The
deal known as "Geneva Accord" calls for Israeli pullout from 1967 land and
dismantling major settlement blocs, while Palestinians would waive the right
of return to 3.6 million refugees to their property inside Israel.
But they succeeded to explain the Palestinian position on the issues
hindering the implementation of roadmap. "We felt understanding for our
position, but we need to increase the efforts to face the Israeli
allegations and reactivate the US role to push with peace process forward,"
he concluded. The Jewish Lobby had anticipated the visit by a campaign
describing the officials as terrorist aides to the President Arafat and
calling on US officials to boycott them.