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Dr Mustafa Barghouti Photo: AFP
Dr Mustafa Barghouti Photo: AFP
 
 

'If Israel wants peace it must recognize unity gov't'

Palestinian information minister-designate, Dr Mustafa Barghouti, warns against Israeli boycott of new unity government. 'Today's Palestinian government is not only a Hamas government, but the government of all the Palestinian people,' he says

Ali Waked
Published: 03.16.07, 09:40 / Israel News

"If Israel boycotts the Palestinian unity government, this means it is interested in continuing the occupation and is not interested in peace," Palestinian information minister-designate, Dr Mustafa Barghouti, told Ynet on Friday.

 

The new Palestinian unity government is expected to be sworn in on Saturday.

 

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Barghouti, whose job is to market the new government and its policy to the global and Israeli public opinion, stated that Israel must not stand firm in its stances and should change them in light of the establishment of the new government.

 

"Israel's stance is wrong. The new Palestinian government is not only a Hamas government, but the government of all the Palestinian people. The unity government represents the choice of 90 percent of Palestinian voters," he explained.

 

Barghouti said it was strange that Israel decided to reject the new government before seeing its plans and platform.

 

Addressing the platform, which was already reported in the media and includes the right of return, he said that "what was published is speculations, as the platform has not been finalized yet and is now being formed. Apart from that, why shouldn’t it include the right of return?"

 

'We refuse to live under occupation'

According to him, the Arab peace initiative also talks about a just solution of the refugee problem.

 

"Israel's problem is that it is a colonialist state, but we refuse to be a people living under occupation and under a colonialist regime. The refugee problem should be solved in an appropriate manner, while taking into account the rights and dignity of the refugees," Barghouti said.

 

The designated minister said that Israel was making a big mistake if it thought the pressures it was exerting would cause the Palestinians to concede their rights.

 

"If Israel wants peace, it must recognize the new government and must agree to a removal of the siege imposed on the PA. Lifting the siege is an Israeli interest," he added.

 

Barghouti noted that the new government had four main objectives: "We must put an end to the internal battles and impose order and security, work to lift the economic and diplomatic siege imposed on the PA, implement a comprehensive reform in all areas of government and life in order to better serve the Palestinian public, and unite all the forces in the Palestinian people in order to work together to put an end to the occupation.

 

The designated minister concluded by expressing his hope that the new government would end the economic embargo imposed on the Palestinians.

 

"This is our goal and we hope to succeed. We have embarked on a new political road and I hope the world will appreciate it and lift the siege," he said.

 

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