Hamas slams Abbas announcement on unity gov't talks

“The reconciliation accord should be implemented as a whole package and not partially,” Haniyeh complains as Abbas moves to form new gov't.

April 30, 2013 02:30
1 minute read.
PA President Abbas with Hamas PM Haniyeh

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

Hamas on Monday criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s announcement that he has begun consultations to form a “national unity” government.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Abbas’s move would undermine efforts to implement a reconciliation agreement between the Islamist movement and Fatah.

The agreement, which was reached last year under the auspices of Qatar, calls for the formation of a new Palestinian unity government headed by Abbas. It also calls for holding new presidential and parliamentary elections and solving security-related issues between the two rival parties.

“The reconciliation accord should be implemented as a whole package and not partially,” Haniyeh said of Abbas’s decision to move ahead with plans to form a government.

“In addition to the formation of a new government, there are security and social issues, as well as elections for the presidency and parliament.”

Last Saturday, Abbas announced that he has launched consultations with various Palestinian factions over the formation of a new government following the resignation of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Fayyad continues, meanwhile, to serve in his post as head of a caretaker government.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri denied that his movement was part of the consultations over the formation of a new government.

Fatah, for its part, said that Hamas’s position showed that the Islamist movement was not serious about the implementation of the Qatari-sponsored reconciliation deal.

“Hamas seems to be very confused and its leaders are issuing contradictory statements,” said Fayez Abu Aitah, a Fatah spokesman in the West Bank. “Hamas is trying to avoid implementing the reconciliation agreement.”

In a related development, representatives of several Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip called Monday on all concerned parties to work toward implementing the agreement.

“There is an urgent need to end Palestinian divisions and restore unity,” the group representatives said after meeting in Gaza City. They also called on the Egyptians to pursue efforts to end the Hamas-Fatah dispute.

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