PA factions discuss Egyptian proposal

Compromise demands that Hamas and the Islamic Jihad join the PLO.

hamas cabinet 298 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
hamas cabinet 298 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Representatives of the various Palestinian factions were meeting in Gaza Wednesday evening to discuss an Egyptian proposal to curb the violence wracking the Palestinian Authority. Negotiators suggested to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh earlier Wednesday that the Hamas-led PA government be replaced by what the negotiators called "a government of experts," Israel Radio reported Wednesday afternoon. The team suggested that an "unaffiliated" official serve as head of the replacement government, and mentioned former PA finance minister Muni Bamasri as a possible candidate. The Egyptian proposal stipulated that the alternate government's activity would be "supervised" by Hamas, and that Abbas would cancel the referendum on the prisoners document currently planned for July 26. Furthermore, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad would have to join the Palestinian Liberation Organization. PA officials said that Abbas would accept the Egyptian compromise. Senior Hamas officials were also expected to endorse the proposal, according to which talks with Israel would continue, but every agreement reached between Israel and the PA would be presented to the Palestinians as a referendum.