'Hamas-Fatah unity would harm diplomatic process'

Officials in J’lem warn Abbas can't have both peace with Israel, reconciliation with Hamas; PA officials: Deal moving forward.

By
November 18, 2011 01:29
3 minute read.
PA President Abbas with Hamas PM Haniyeh

PA President Abbas with Hamas PM Haniyeh 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas cannot have both peace with Israel and reconciliation with Hamas, officials in Jerusalem said on Thursday as Fatah announced significant progress toward forming a unity government with Hamas.

“If Abbas consummates this marriage in a meeting next week with [Hamas head Khaled] Mashaal, this is a big problem for us,” one official said. “We have said before that Abbas can choose peace with us or Hamas, but they don’t go together.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Abbas says he will meet Mashaal on Nov 23
Fayyad may quit to facilitate Palestinian unity deal

Washington is also sending messages to Abbas not to sign off on a deal with Hamas, warning that the PA could once again face a cutoff of US funds if it did so without Hamas first recognizing Israel, forswearing terrorism, and accepting previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

Congress temporarily held up funding to the PA after Abbas took his statehood bid to the UN in September.

One Israeli official characterized Abbas’s behavior over the past few months as “problematic,” saying that this was seen by his moves at the UN, his public praise for the kidnapping of soldier Gilad Schalit, and his refusal to condemn last month’s round of missile fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

“If he now consummates all that with a move forward toward Hamas, it can seriously harm the peace process,” the official said. He stopped short, however, of saying what concrete actions Israel would take in response to a Hamas-Fatah rapprochement.



Meanwhile, senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed said on Thursday that Fatah and Hamas were close to reaching agreement on the identity of the prime minister who would head a new caretaker government dominated by independent figures. He also said the two parties were close to agreeing on a joint-political platform.

The new government’s main goal would be to prepare for elections, he added.

The announcement came ahead of a planned summit in Cairo on November 23 between Abbas and Mashaal.

Last May, Hamas and Fatah announced that they had reached an agreement to end their differences and form a government that would prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections.

However, Fatah’s insistence on the nomination of incumbent Salam Fayyad as head of the unity government prevented the implementation of the Egyptianengineered reconciliation deal.

Hamas says it would never be part of any government that was headed by Fayyad. The party blames him for the crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank and says he was a figure imposed on the Palestinians by the US.

But in recent days some Fatah officials appear to have changed their minds and are no longer insisting that Fayyad serve as prime minister of the proposed unity government.

Earlier this week, Fayyad expressed readiness to step down to avoid being an obstacle to the implementation of the Hamas-Fatah accord.

Ahmed revealed this week that he had held secret talks in Cairo with top Hamas official Musa Abu Marzouk to discuss ways of removing obstacles hindering the implementation of the reconciliation agreement.

According to a senior PA official in Ramallah, Ahmed informed the Hamas official that Fatah was no longer insisting on Fayyad’s candidacy.

Ahmed said that Fatah and Hamas have made progress toward reaching an agreement on the political platform of the new government. He said the platform calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, launching a “popular resistance” and continuing Palestinian political moves in international forums such as the UN.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN