Haniyeh and Abbas 521.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A dispute has erupted between Hamas and Fatah over the political platform of a
Palestinian unity government, Palestinian sources reported Sunday.
dispute came as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader
Khaled Mashaal made preparations to hold another meeting in Cairo later this
week to discuss the formation of a unity government and the implementation of
the recent Qataribrokered reconciliation agreement between the two
On Saturday during a meeting in Ramallah, Abbas told the Italian
consul-general in Jerusalem that a Palestinian unity government, which would be
established under the terms of the Qatari-brokered deal, would abide by the
PLO’s political program.
Abbas said that the unity government would also
honor all agreements that were signed between the PLO and Israel, including the
Under the terms of the reconciliation deal, the unity
government would be headed by Abbas and its main mission would be to prepare for
presidential and parliamentary elections and rebuild the Gaza
Abbas’s statements about the political agenda of the unity
government drew sharp criticism from Hamas, whose leaders rushed Sunday to deny
the PA president’s remarks.
Hamas does not want to be seen as having
recognized the Oslo Accords or Israel’s right to exist by agreeing to the
formation of a unity government with Abbas’s Fatah faction.
spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri emphasized that the proposed unity government “would
have nothing to with Abbas’s political program, which we categorically
He stressed that Hamas remained opposed to negotiations with
Israel or to making concessions on Palestinian rights, first and foremost the
“right of return” for millions of Palestinian refugees to their former villages
Abu Zuhri said that contrary to Abbas’s statements, the
unity government would be a temporary government with no political
Ismail Radwan, another Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, said
that only an elected government would decide on political matters in the future,
including the peace process with Israel.
“The [unity] transitional
government’s task would be restricted to rebuilding the Gaza Strip and preparing
for elections,” Radwan said. “After we hold elections, the new elected
government will decide on its future steps in the political arena.”
response, top Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed reiterated that the unity government
would abide by the PLO’s political program despite Hamas’s opposition. However,
he added that the new government would not deal with political issues.
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