Photo: Reuters
Signing unity into existence
Photo: Reuters
Fatah official expects Palestinian unity government this week
An official with President Mahmoud Abbas' movement says new cabinet will be declared Thursday.

A negotiator says he expects a Palestinian unity government backed by rivals Hamas and Fatah to be announced this week.



Azzam al-Ahmed of President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement says the new cabinet will be declared Thursday. Ehab Ghussein of Hamas said Monday an announcement is likely in the coming days. The government is to prepare for 2015 elections.


The West views the Islamic militant Hamas as a terror group and it's not clear if it would deal with a unity government, even if Abbas sets a pragmatic tone.


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Hamas seized Gaza in 2007, leaving Abbas' forces confined to the West Bank.


Previous reconciliation attempts failed, but the rivals today are more flexible due to crisis – Hamas over money and Abbas over the collapse of peace talks with Israel.


Last week, Bassem Naim, an advisor to Hamas's premier for the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, said the Palestinian unity government would be announced in the upcoming days.


“We expect the government to be announced by (Abbas) early the following week,” he said, and will then be presented to the Palestinian parliament for a vote of confidence.


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