Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hamas and Fatah expected to finalize unity government next Tuesday

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas leader Khaled Mishal

The two main Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, will finalize the formation of the historic unity government next Tuesday in Cairo, Fatah said yesterday.

According to the Palestine News Information Agency, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mishal will convene in Cairo on June 21 to conclude negotiations about the new government.

The announcement came as Fatah and Hamas began a new round of negotiations as the two factions failed on reaching a consensus on the election of the next Prime Minister.
Azzam al-Ahmad

"Fatah is determined to end the division and implement the agreements with Hamas on the ground," said Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah delegation. "We hope this will be the last session to form a technocrat government and name the prime minister and members of the new government."

Fatah chose current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to head the new unity government but Hamas objected the proposed candidate after blaming the current prime minister for the Palestinian Authority's debts and the continuing attacks on Hamas supporters in the West Bank.

However, Ahmad said that a consensus was within reach and the two leaders will designate a new Premier next Tuesday. Hamas had earlier proposed Ismail Haniyeh to lead the new unity government. 
Musa Abu Marzouk

Ahmad and the Fatah delegation have met with its Hamas counterpart, led by Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy political bureau chief of the faction which is labeled by Israel as a terrorist organization.

On May 4, Fatah, Hamas and all other Palestinian factions signed a historic unity deal in Cairo. As a result, the Hamas-led government in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank will be dissolved and replaced by a single cabinet of independent technocrats.

At that time, Hamas said that a unified government would be formed within ten days but so far factions have not agreed on a cabinet and elections were delayed. Israel urged the Palestinian Authority to choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas as there "is no possibility for peace with both."

Last year, Israel and the Palestinian Authority stalled the peace negotiations, which were supported by the U.S. and the United Nations, after the Jewish nation refused to extend a moratorium on settlement building in occupied Palestinian territory in September. 
Jewish settlement in Gaza

Israel has resumed settlement constructions even though they were labeled as a violation of international law by the international community. The peace talks are aimed at reaching a two-state solution based on the 1967 Green Line.

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