Fatah en Hamas praten weer en zouden overeen zijn gekomen om in maart - of in mei? - verkiezingen te houden. Hiermee hopen ze betere kansen te maken bij de VN Veiligheidsraad. De Palestijnse erkenning daar zal zeker door een Amerikaans veto worden getroffen, maar met een grote meerderheid van de andere leden achter zich zou dat wel een morele, beter gezegd een diplomatieke overwinning betekenen.
Fatah, Hamas agree to establish caretaker government without Palestinian PM Fayyad
Rival factions to hold elections on unity government in May; Fatah-Hamas dispute posed major obstacle to UN Security Council decision on Palestinian membership.
By Akiva Eldar
Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agreed to hold elections next May and are due to establish a caretaker government in the coming weeks which will exclude Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Palestinian sources said Tuesday.
According to Palestinian sources, a breakthrough in Egyptian mediation efforts occurred in recent days, ahead of the meeting expected to take place next Friday in Cairo between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshal.
The Fatah-Hamas agreement came to fruition after the committee appointed by the United Nations Security Council to investigate the Palestinians' membership request said the Palestinian Authority did not fulfill the necessary requirements since it did not control the Gaza Strip.
The new agreement is expected to unite the two governments and aid the PA in gaining a majority in the Security Council. Abbas' refusal to replace Fayyad was one of the major obstacles to carrying out the reconciliation agreement achieved six months ago.
Azzam Ahmad, a senior Abbas aide, told Palestinian reporters this week that Fatah has decided to present a replacement to the prime minister.
Fayyad himself said Monday he would not stand in the way of an agreement. "I have always called for ending the split," he said. "I call upon the factions to find a new prime minister and stop claiming that I'm the obstacle, because I was never an obstacle and will never be."
Even if an agreement is reached in Cairo, implementing it is far from certain. The sides will still have to agree on a list of ministers in the new government, budget issues and how to combine rival security forces.
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
PA official tells 'Post' PA president set to issue call on Palestinian "independence day"; Fayyad’s willingness to step down seen as crucial to overcoming disagreements between Fatah and Hamas.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to call for the formation of a Palestinian unity government Wednesday, a PA official said Tuesday.
The official said that Abbas would issue the call during a speech marking the anniversary of Palestinian “independence day.”
Abbas will call for the formation of a unity government dominated by independent figures as part of an agreement between his Fatah faction and Hamas, the official told The Jerusalem Post. The official would neither confirm nor deny reports that Prime Minister Salam Fayyad would be excluded from the new PA government.
Fatah and Hamas have been holding secret talks in Cairo in the past few weeks in a bid to reach agreement on the formation of a Palestinian unity government and new presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories.
The discussions came on the eve of a planned meeting between Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in the Egyptian capital next week.
Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official in the West Bank, revealed Tuesday that he had held a secret meeting in Cairo with Musa Abu Marzouk, the Syrian-based deputy head of the Hamas “political bureau.” Ahmed said that he had held several meetings with Abu Marzouk “in order to create a positive atmosphere” ahead of the Abbas-Mashaal summit.
The Fatah official voiced optimism regarding the planned summit’s prospects of success, saying the two parties had made “good preparations” ahead of the meeting.
He said Abbas was planning to propose holding new elections in March next year.
Fatah and Hamas announced last May that they had reached an agreement to end their differences. However, the agreement was never implemented due to sharp differences between the two parties over a number of issues, first and foremost the identity of the prime minister who would head a new unity government.
Hamas’s refusal to accept Fayyad as head of the proposed government was the major obstacle to achieving reconciliation between the two sides, Fatah officials said Tuesday.
But an announcement by Fayyad earlier this week that he would be prepared to step down – to pave the way for the implementation of a Fatah-Hamas unity deal – now seems to have paved the way for rapprochement between the two parties.
Ahmed and other Fatah officials hinted Tuesday that they would no longer insist on the nomination of Fayyad.
“Fatah is prepared to propose other candidates for the job of prime minister,” said a PA official in Ramallah. “We don’t want Fayyad to be an obstacle to Palestinian unity.”
Hamas legislator Salah Bardaweel reiterated his movement’s opposition to Fayyad.
Bardaweel said that the reconciliation talks between the two groups would fail if Abbas insisted on the appointment of Fayyad as prime minister of a unity government.