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'No reasonable solutions being offered'

Fayad pessimistic about upcoming elections; Abbas: New Palestinian government must recognize Israel.

February 7, 2009 20:51
1 minute read.
'No reasonable solutions being offered'

Abbas Fayad 248.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad on Saturday voiced pessimism about this week's Israeli general elections. "I know of no Israeli politician willing to offer a reasonable solution to the conflict," he told reporters in Ramallah. "They're all interested in a partial solution, to improve the appearance of the occupation while they continue building settlements." While many Israelis supported the establishment of a Palestinian state, he said, "the problem is in the details." Earlier on Saturday, Fayad said he would transfer $50 million in emergency aid to Gazans whose homes were destroyed or damaged during Israel's three-week offensive against Hamas. Fayad said the emergency payments would be taken from the current Palestinian Authority budget. Hamas initially said all aid to Gaza must go through their offices. However, the international community is reluctant to do so, and senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said on Saturday that Hamas would be flexible on the issue. Meanwhile, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that Fatah and Hamas needed to resolve their differences and create a unity government that could reach peace with Israel. "We don't want a government that will allow Israel to continue its siege," he told a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul. "We're not asking this from Hamas, we're not asking Hamas to recognize Israel. We expect this from the new government."

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