(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority government announced on Tuesday it is prepared to resign in favor of new unity government with Hamas and other Palestinian factions.
The announcement came as reports suggested Fatah and Hamas negotiators holding talks in Qatar in the past few days have made progress towards ending their dispute.
“The government wishes success to the efforts made to achieve reconciliation,” a statement released by the PA in Ramallah said.
“Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah affirmed that the government is prepared to submit its resignation to back efforts to establish a national unity government.”
The PA renewed its appeal for ending the Hamas-Fatah dispute as necessary to support the Palestinian “national project and enhance our capability to face the biggest challenge – ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.”
The negotiators, who have been meeting in Doha since Sunday, said they have reached agreement on a “limited practical perception” as to how to solve their dispute and implement previous reconciliation accords signed between the two sides.
But the 98-word joint communique is seen by Palestinians as an admission of the failure of the Qatar talks.
They said that the agreement would be presented to the leaders of the rival parties for further discussion.
The negotiators said the talks were held in a “positive and brotherly atmosphere.”
However, Fatah and Hamas officials in Ramallah and the Gaza Strip voiced skepticism regarding the prospects of ending their dispute.
They said that despite the agreement reached in Doha, the gap between the parties remained as wide as ever.
A senior Fatah official told reporters in Ramallah that the Doha talks have actually failed due to Hamas’s refusal to change its stance on a number of important issues. He said the main obstacle remains Hamas’s refusal to accept the formation of a unity government on the basis of the PLO’s political program, which accepts a two-state solution and calls for a negotiated settlement with Israel.
Palestinian sources said Hamas also rejected Fatah’s offer to retain control over major portfolios such as the finance, foreign affairs and security ministries.
Hamas spokesman Salah Bardaweel criticized the PA government, as “illegitimate.”
In reaction to the PA government’s announcement that it was prepared to submit its resignation, Bardaweel said: “This government was not approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council.
It has no legitimacy.”