Related News

Home » World

Palestinian factions disagree on gov't formation, elections

PALESTINIAN factional leaders for intensive inter-reconciliation talks in Cairo said yesterday they failed to agree on the shape of a unity government and the elections, while making progress on security and reconciliation.

Senior Fatah leader Nabil Shaath said in a statement sent to reporters that factional representatives in five dialogue committees are expected to end their debates and discussions by yesterday evening.

Senior delegations from the Islamist Hamas and the Western-backed Fatah faction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas began discussion on Tuesday in committees they agreed to form in late February to resolve their differences.

The five committees were tasked respectively with forming a unity government, preparing for legislative and presidential elections, security forces, reconciliation and reforming Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Shaath said there are two major issues still unresolved, which are related to the composition and obligation of the Palestinian unity government and the legislative and presidential elections.

"The issues that the conferees had agreed or disagreed upon would be conveyed later to a high dialogue steering committee. The committee will keep its meetings until March 23," said Shaath.

The committee would include Fatah leader Ahmed Qureia, Hamas deputy politburo Musa Abu Marzooq, other faction chiefs, senior Egyptian intelligence officials and Arab League representatives.

Meanwhile, other Palestinian officials also confirmed that the other committees, especially these deals with the forming of the government and reforming the PLO, were facing several obstacles.

The disagreements between rival Fatah and Hamas on forming a new government are what is the political platform of the government, and whether this platform would be committed to the signed agreements with Israel, according to a well-informed source.

The international Quartet demands that any new Palestinian government should recognize Israel's right to exist, accept previous interim agreements between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and condemn violence.

Hamas wants a new government with the same platform as the former unity government agreed to be formed in Mecca in February 2007, which says the government will respect the PLO commitments.

But Fatah movement is eager to form a new unity government with a political platform saying the government "abides by" the PLO commitments.

Radical Hamas reserves the right to fight Israel in spite of its declared readiness accept an 18-month truce with the Jewish state in the Gaza Strip, while Fatah has renounced violence and opts for peace negotiations to settle the chronic conflict with Israel.

"Fatah tries to draw Hamas to recognize the Israeli occupation by putting pressure on us that the commitments of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) must be respected," said Salah al-Bardaweel, a Hamas lawmaker.

"The PLO's and Fatah's recognition of Israel brought nothing but more catastrophes by building settlements and installing roadblocks in West Bank and denying the Palestinian people's rights," he said.

Fatah spokesman Ahmed Abdel Rahman said in a statement sent to reporters that Fatah doesn't want Hamas to recognize Israel, "but it wants a government that is accepted by the international community" to end the siege.

Rivalry between Fatah and Hamas, who won a parliamentary election ion 2006, have worsened since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in a week of deadly fighting in June 2007, limiting Abbas' clout to the West Bank.

Hamas and Fatah have been holding reconciliation talks in Cairo since late February to form a unity government in order to settle the widening split between the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the Fatah-ruled West Bank.

Meanwhile, reconciliation negotiators agreed to prohibit fighting or use weapons to settle internal troubles, a Palestinian academic said yesterday.

Yasser al-Wadia, the independent academic who joined the reconciliation committee, said his committee made remarkable progress in its work to come to that agreement.

He added that his committee also agreed on mechanisms to compensate people who lost or suffered due to the political split between the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and the Fatah-dominated West Bank.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend