New P.A. plank omits ‘armed struggle

 For the first time a political platform proposed by the Palestinian Authority does not call for “armed struggle.” The plank presented last Friday by P.A. Prime Minister Salaam Fayad instead cited “national opposition to the occupation.” It includes language regarding the “attainment of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement consisting of pre-1967 borders, Jerusalem as the capital of both states, the honoring of past agreements between the two” and a resolution to the refugee problem based on U.N. resolutions, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said Israel should try to work with P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas, head of the more moderate Fatah party, as Israel has a partner for peace for “the first time in seven years.” Israel has yet to issue an official reply – officials have not received the new platform in writing, nor has it been voted on by the Palestinian Parliament.

The platform also declares the P.A.’s intention to exert its rule over the Gaza Strip, which was taken over last month by Hamas. Abbas vowed that an internal 200-page report detailing the failures of officials in handling the Hamas takeover would be implemented immediately. Hamas has vowed to continue its armed resistance against Israel.

Abbas told reporters that he hoped to broker peace within a year and has the support of President Bush and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

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