Gaza – Ma'an – A Hamas-sponsored conference of Palestinian factions to be held in Damascus at the end of January is sparking speculation that Hamas is intending to create Palestinian institutions external to the historically hegemonic Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
A leader in the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) called Abu Abeer said on Monday that he received a formal invitation to the three-day meeting, which is to begin on January 23rd.
The announcement comes one day after the PLO's Central Council met in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not members of the PLO.Abu Abeer said: "We will attend the conference for the sake of creating a new era of Palestinian resistance and unity.
We accepted that invitation because we have realized that the peaceful compromise is not more than illusions and pledges which will only delay our cause fruitlessly. So, it was a duty to find an alternative approach, resistance, in order to gain our rights by force."The An-Nasser Brigades, PRC's armed wing, said they will send a delegation of exiled leaders to take part in the conference, which is meant to reaffirm the struggle for 'inalienable Palestinian rights.'
The Popular and the Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine have decided to boycott the conference while Islamic Jihad is planning to attend.
A leader in the Islamic Jihad movement, Kahlid Al-Batsh, told Ma'an that his movement would participate because of its emphasis on Palestinian rights, specifically the right of return for Palestinian refugees.