Hope to lift baracade of international aid
Unity government to be technocratically based
On the way to a Palestinian national unity government: Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed Wednesday afternoon on the establishment of a Palestinian national unity government. At the end of their second meeting in the past day, the last disagreements were smoothed over on the way to configuring a government, which was summarized between the Palestinian factions in the Prisoners' Document presented two months ago.
The two figures also developments around the kidnapping of the soldier Gilad Shalit. The upper echelons of the Palestinian Authority estimate that a solution to the affair will be made on the basis of exchanging Palestinian prisoners for Shalit by way of Egypt.
Haniyeh and Abbas meet to discuss national unity government (Photo: AP)
At the end of the meeting between the two officials, Abbas said, "From this moment contacts and consultations have been initiated for the establishment of a Palestinian government, in which our nation invests much hope." Haniyeh, for his part, confirmed that establishment of the government will be done on the basis of the Prisoners' Document. Establishment of the cabinet will proceed immediately in order to lift the blockade imposed on the Palestinian Authority, and to release senior government officials and members of the Palestinian Parliament imprisoned in Israel.
The Palestinians hope that the establishment of a unity government in which all Palestinian factions will be represented will spur the international community, especially the EU, to renew financial support to the PA. This issue has already been discussed between Abbas and the Foreign Policy Representative of the EU, Javier Solana.
Apparently, the government is to be established on a professional (technocratic) basis, and not on party affiliation, such that a Hamas majority in the government is not ensured.
Palestinian sources say that the end of the war in Lebanon, Hamas' lack of willingness to solve the Shalit kidnapping affair while war was still waging, and Solana's commitments encouraged contact between the two sides.
A Palestinian source said the Ynet that Hamas understands that even if a government is formed that isn't entirely controlled by Hamas, the party can still exercise effective control by means of the overwhelming majority it enjoys in the Palestinian Legislative Council. In the Palestinian Authority, they are hoping that the chances of establishing such a government will become clearer by the end of the month.