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Toughened stance. Abbas Photo: AP
Toughened stance. Abbas Photo: AP
 
 

Abbas: Hamas-Fatah talks doomed to fail

Palestinian president wants government of technocrats, not politicians, demands it consist only of ministers who can move freely between Gaza, West Bank

Ali Waked
Published: 03.17.09, 09:59 / Israel News

The Egyptian-mediated reconciliation talks between the rival Palestinian factions appear to be on the brink of collapse, Palestinian sources told Ynet on Tuesday.

 

According to the sources, Fatah and Hamas remain in disagreement over the establishment of a unity government, elections, and the make up of the security forces and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

 

In light of the disputes, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has estimated that the negotiations, being held in Cairo, will fail.

 

The sources said Fatah remains adamant in its demand that the unity government consist mainly of independent elements. Abbas has stressed

that he wants a government of technocrats, not politicians.

 

Ynet has learned that on Sunday Abbas met with members of Fatah's delegation to Cairo and presented a toughened stance. Among other things, the Palestinian president told his party's members that any agreement with Hamas must give him the authority to approve the appointment of all cabinet ministers.

 

"I will not allow a situation whereby the unity government will include ministers who cannot move freely between Gaza and the West Bank," he said, hinting that Hamas ministers in Gaza will not be able to perform their duties due to movement restrictions imposed by Israel.

 

Abbas also reiterated his position that any future government would have to abide by all past agreements signed by the PLO. The head of Fatah's negotiating team, Ahmed Qureia, has been updating Abbas on the ongoing talks at least twice a day.

 

Abbas further said that Hamas was conducting itself throughout the negotiations as though its sovereignty over Gaza was not up for debate and that all that was left to discuss was the power sharing in the West Bank.

 

Palestinian sources said that any flexibility displayed by Hamas should be attributed to the pressure to begin the reconstruction efforts in Gaza. 

 

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