Fayyad denies Fatah criticism in NYT interview

PA PM denies granting interview in which he reportedly calls Fatah a "failed leadership," saying it would break down.

Palestinian Authority PM Salam Fayyad 390 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)
Palestinian Authority PM Salam Fayyad 390 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)
Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad on Saturday denied statements attributed to him by The New York Times that criticized the Palestinian leadership and Fatah.
Fayyad said that he did not grant an interview to the Times or any other other newspaper or news agency since he submitted his resignation to PA President Mahmoud Abbas last month.
At the request of Abbas, Fayyad continues to head a caretaker cabinet until the formation of a new government.
Abbas was quoted last week as saying that he did not rule out the possibility that he would ask Fayyad to stay in his position and form a new government.
Fayyad was quoted by the Times over the weekend as saying “Our story is a story of failed leadership, from way early on. It is incredible that the fate of the Palestinian people has been in the hands of leaders so entirely casual, so guided by spur-of-themoment decisions, without seriousness. We don’t strategize, we cut deals in a tactical way and we hold ourselves hostage to our own rhetoric.”
Referring to Abbas’s Fatah faction, which has campaigned for the firing of the prime minister, Fayyad was quoted by the Times as saying that it “is going to break down, there is so much disenchantment.
Students have lost 35 days this year through strikes. We are broke. The system is not taking, the country is suffering. They are not going to change their ways and therefore I must go.”
The attack on the PA leadership and Fatah clearly embarrassed Fayyad, who said in a statement that the Time‘s Roger Cohen had published an op-ed and not an interview.
Fayyad also accused the paper of “forgery that carries political dimensions with the goal of causing damage and fomenting strife in order to serve positions that are hostile to the Palestinians and their national project at this sensitive and critical phase.”
Fatah legislator Najat Abu Baker strongly condemned Fayyad’s remarks and called for bringing him to trial.
“Fayyad came to power with American and Western money,” she charged. “He came to corrupt the internal Palestinian arena and contaminate it with this money.”
Abu Baker called for bringing Fayyad to trial on charges of perpetrating “crimes against the Palestinian people.”