Cairo: Hamas, Fatah meet on implementing PA unity deal

Fayyad says he won't be an obstacle to formation of unity gov't, will accept any agreement reached; Hamas denies proposing Haniyeh as head.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
Fatah and Hamas representatives launched talks in Cairo on Tuesday to discuss the implementation of the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation accord between them, especially with regards to the establishment of a unity government.
The talks are mainly aimed at reaching agreement over the identity of the prime minister of the proposed unity government.
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Earlier this week, the Fatah Central Committee voted in favor of current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. However, Hamas has declared its fierce opposition to Fayyad’s candidacy, holding him responsible for the Palestinian Authority’s debts and the continued security clampdown on Hamas supporters in the West Bank.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Tuesday’s meeting in Cairo was very important because it would determine whether the two parties would be able to reach agreement on the future prime minister.
Abu Zuhri denied that Hamas was proposing its prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, as head of a unity government.
The Cairo talks will also deal with Hamas’s demand that the PA release hundreds of its followers who are being held in Palestinian prisons in the West Bank.
Ezzat Risheq, a senior Damascus-based Hamas official, said that the ongoing crackdown on supporters of the Islamist movement was having a negative impact on the reconciliation pact.
Fayyad was quoted on Tuesday as saying that he would not be an obstacle to the formation of a unity government. He added that he would accept any agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah concerning the identity of the unity government prime minister.
Fayyad said that he has no intention of imposing himself on any party.
In a related development, a Hamas legislator from the West Bank complained accused PA policewomen of beating her and her daughter during a sit-in strike outside a PA detention center near Nablus.
The legislator, Muna Mansour, said she and her daughter, Ibtihal, were first beaten by the policewomen, who also removed the hijab from their heads. She said that photographers who were covering the event were also beaten and had their cameras confiscated.
The sit-in strike was organized in protest against the continued arrests of Hamas supporters in the West Bank.