Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas to form unity government

The Guardian reports: The rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed to form a new unity government in the West Bank and Gaza, which will be headed by Mahmoud Abbas, it was announced on Monday.

Reconciliation talks between the two factions have struggled to make progress since an agreement in principle was signed last spring. A major issue has been who would lead the government. Hamas insisted on the removal of the present prime minister, Salam Fayyad, who has strong western backing for the progress he has made on building the institutions of a future Palestinian state.

Abbas and the exiled Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, who has been pushing for reconciliation, agreed at a meeting in Qatar on the formation of the new government of independent technocrats, led by Abbas, which will be in place until elections can be held.

Meshaal said: “We are serious, both Fatah and Hamas, in healing the wounds and ending the chapter of division and reinforcing and accomplishing reconciliation.” Rapprochement was necessary “to resist the enemy and achieve our national goals”, he added.

The agreement would be “implemented in the shortest time possible”, Abbas said.

Fayyad “warmly welcomed” Monday’s agreement, a Palestinian spokesman told the Associated Press. It was unclear whether he would remain in the government after stepping down as prime minister.

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3 thoughts on “Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas to form unity government

  1. delia ruhe

    The US is against this union too, just as it is against Palestine’s acceptance by UNESCO. Whatever happened to “the status quo is unacceptable”?

  2. Norman

    If the U.S. can break the yoke that the Israelis have over it, perhaps the World could get on with the bigger task at hand, making a better world, leaving all the old prejudices behind in the garbage heap where they belong.

  3. Tom Hall

    What exactly does the Guardian mean by “independent technocrats”? The term itself is an implicit endorsement of the patently phony proposition that insulated, unaccountable economic bureaucracies operate somehow in a dispassionate, impartial manner. They don’t. They impose policies and punishments in accordance with the antidemocratic precepts and norms of whichever elite group has trained them to serve. As for the paper’s praise of Fayyad, “who has strong western backing for the progress he has made on building the future institutions of a Palestinian state”- said institutions are of the national security order, designed, underwritten and implemented by the very states most opposed to any form of popular government or national independence for Palestine. The U.S. and Israel are the patrons and beneficiaries of these arrangements. The CIA, FBI, and Israeli intelligence and police agencies are in charge of ideological and operational training of their subordinate Palestinian counterparts. The relationships are blatantly colonial in nature. Not that any of this would seem strange or objectionable to a paragon of (neo)liberalism like the Guardian.

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