Saturday, 8 August 2009

Abbas hijacks Fatah conference

ALGIERS, (PIC)-- Farouk Al-Qaddoumi, the secretary-general of Fatah's central committee, said Wednesday that the sixth conference held in Bethlehem turned Fatah from a resistance movement into a submissive political party.

In a press statement to the Algerian Echorouk newspaper, Qaddoumi warned that this conference cast doubts over the Palestinian people's rights especially the right of return, saying that he had already warned of holding the conference in the occupied Palestinian lands.

He also highlighted that the movement of Fatah outside Palestine would not recognize any decisions issued by the conference which was held in Palestinian lands under the Israeli occupation.

As for Mahmoud Abbas's intent to close his office in Tunisia, Qaddoumi affirmed that no one could close Fatah leadership's office in Tunisia because it was elected by the national council and gained the support of all Palestinian resistance factions.

Meanwhile, strong arguments and polarization flared up between Fatah leaders on the second day of the conference of Bethlehem on Wednesday.

Informed sources attending the conference reported that members of Fatah conference raged at Tayeb Abdelrahim, a member of Fatah's central committee and Abbas's aide, and forced him to leave the platform after he defiantly declared that there was no report issued by the central committee and thus Abbas's speech at the opening session could be considered an alternative report.

Abbas, who was called in to silence the conference members, threatened the attendees with expulsion if they did not show discipline and ordered his bodyguards to force out senior Fatah official Hossam Khader after his attempt to speak and interrupt Abbas.

The first session of the conference on Tuesday also witnessed verbal argument between some Fatah leaders during which Abbas's bodyguards physically assaulted former PA intelligence director Tawfiq Al-Tirawi.

Abbas's bodyguards attacked Tirawi as he was trying to help members of the conference who came from Lebanon to enter the conference room after they faced problems in getting access cards.