Fatah reiterates support of unity proposal

Faction official: Group will hold elections "during first half of next year and no later than that date."

abbas haniyeh 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
abbas haniyeh 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Fatah on Monday morning reiterated its acceptance of a new Egyptian proposal aimed at solving its dispute with Hamas, according to a Reuters report. "We have decided to accept the Egyptian proposal, including holding the elections during the first half of next year and no later than that date," said Abbas Zaki, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, was quoted as saying. The Egyptian proposal, which has the support of Hamas as well, calls for holding presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories in the first half of 2010, and not in January of the same year as originally planned. The initiative divides the Palestinian territories into 16 electoral districts, 11 in the West Bank and the remaining five in the Gaza Strip. The vote, according to the proposal, would be held under Arab and Western supervision to guarantee their honesty and fairness. On the issue of security, the initiative envisages the establishment of a security committee that would consist of "professional" officers and which would be placed under the supervision of the Egyptians. The committee's main task would be to oversee the revamping of the Palestinian Authority security forces. The Egyptians also want to see another committee, comprised of representatives of all Palestinian factions, tasked with the mission of preparing for elections, reconciliation among warring factions and rebuilding houses that were destroyed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. Immediately after the signing of the reconciliation accord, both Hamas and Fatah would start releasing all "political" detainees. Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.