Abbas: New Palestinian gov't will not be a Hamas gov't

PA president says US, Israel misunderstood Palestinian unity deal: "This government is not Fatah or Hamas, this is my government."

May 23, 2011 18:26
1 minute read.
Mahmoud Abbas at the Muqata, Ramallah, Thurs.

mahmoud abbas_311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that he was working toward establishing a government of technocrats and not a joint Fatah-Hamas cabinet.

The new government would consist of independent figures who are not affiliated with any political factions, Abbas said after meeting in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, he said.

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“The Israelis, and sometimes the Americans, have misunderstood the upcoming government,” Abbas said. “They mistakenly think that it’s a Hamas government. This is not a Hamas or Fatah government. This is my government and it will follow my strategy and policy.”

On Sunday night Abbas met with Jordan’s prime minister Marouf al-Bakhit and discussed with him the repercussions of US President Barack Obama’s recent statements regarding the Middle East peace process.

Following the meeting, Abbas defended his decision to sign an Egyptianbrokered reconciliation accord with Hamas.

“Hamas is part of Palestinian society,” he said. “It’s a Palestinian movement that practices its role as an opposition party in line with democratic basics.”

Abbas said that the Palestinians were not seeking to isolate Israel by asking for UN recognition of a Palestinian state in September. Rather, the Palestinians want the UN to recognize Palestine as a state under Israeli occupation.

“We want to go to the UN to declare our right to live alongside Israel and not to remove it,” Abbas said. He also stressed the significance of Israeli recognition of the principle of the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees to their original homes.

Abbas is expected to convene PLO and Fatah officials for an emergency meeting in Ramallah on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments surrounding Obama’s statements.

Arab League foreign ministers are also expected to hold an urgent meeting in Qatar on Saturday to discuss the same issue. The meeting is being held at the request of the PA leadership, which is seeking a unified Arab response to Obama’s remarks.

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