Fatah: We are completely paralyzed

Hamas spokesman says calls for resignation "will heat up the atmosphere."

abbas 298 88 (photo credit: AP)
abbas 298 88
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas should call early elections to resolve the political standoff with Hamas, a leading member of Abbas' Fatah Party said Saturday. Six months of failed negotiations with Hamas on forming a coalition government with Fatah have made it clear that Hamas is unwilling to share power, said Azzam al-Ahmed, the head of the Fatah bloc in parliament. Al-Ahmed is a member of a five-member committee formed Friday to present recommendations to Abbas on what to do next to end the deadlock. The committee leans toward recommending early presidential and legislative elections, Al-Ahmed told The Associated Press. "The trend within this committee is to recommend early elections," he said. "This choice, the early election, will be much better than the current situation, even if Fatah lost both the presidential and parliament elections." "We are completely paralyzed. This authority is paralyzed. Let us go to our people, and tell them the truth, and let them decide what they want," he said. Hamas rejected the demand. "This is a coup," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Saturday. "We cannot accept such a step, which is against Palestinian democracy and goes against the election results. The PLO doesn't represent the Palestinian people." Another Hamas spokesman, Ismail Radwan, said Saturday, "We warn that such decisions will lead to more division that will heat up the atmosphere." Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas has told Abbas in the past he would only resign once an agreement was reached on a new government. Abbas has the authority to dismiss the Hamas government, but has been reluctant to do so because any new Cabinet would require approval of the Hamas-dominated parliament.