Photo: AFP
Abbas - 'exhausted and saddened'
Photo: AFP
Photo: Reuters
PM Haniyeh - 'He doesn't really want unity gov't'
Photo: Reuters
Photo: AP
Violent confrontations between Hamas and Fatah loyalists
Photo: AP

Aide: Abbas to deliver ‘momentous speech’

Hamas, Fatah continue to play blame-game but both sides admit no more hope left for unity gov't. Abbas associates: President is exhausted, may resign soon

After Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Thursday that the efforts to establish a unity government in the Palestinian Authority have reached a deadlock, sources close to him said he may reach a number of far-reaching decisions on the matter in the coming days.


Abbas is expected to convene the representatives of the Palestinian factions and the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee members on Friday to update them on the failing talks with Hamas.


The president’s advisor, Saeb Erekat, said Abbas is set to deliver a ‘momentous speech’ that will be broadcast to the entire Palestinian population, during which he will speak of the failed unity government negotiations. Sources close to Abbas said he is exhausted and saddened by the deadlock.


In the past it was said that the president may go as far as using his authority top dissolve the Hamas-controlled government and parliament.


“He is refraining from doing so because he does not want to lead the Palestinian street toward confrontation,” one source said. “However, Abbas feels that he must pull the Palestinian carriage from the mud, or else he may consider resigning soon.”


'Hamas wasn't willing to compromise'

The head of the Fatah faction in the Palestinian Legislative Council, Azzam el-Ahmed, blamed Hamas for ‘putting political interests before national ones.'


“The Rais (Abbas) must use his authority to find a speedy solution to the crisis, because Hamas is only interested in remaining in power; the Palestinian nation’s hunger does not interest them,” he said.


Hamas, on the other hand, blamed el-Ahmed and his fellow Fatah members for ‘planning a coup’ in the Authority and thwarting efforts to establish a unity government. Senior Hamas officials, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, accused Fatah of backing out of understandings already existing between both sides regarding the formation of a unity government and thereby delaying its formation.


A Fatah official told Ynet in response to the allegations that Hamas representatives refused to show any compromise throughout the unity talks, and insisted on keeping the important portfolios for Hamas. "We were willing to yield the foreign affairs and treasury ministries, as long as those positions would be held by figures that will be accepted by the international community, so that financial support to the PA will be resumed.


"But Hamas wasn't willing to compromise; they were just trying to stall so that the calm would ease the pressure on Hamas and give them legitimacy both in the world and within the internal-Palestinian arena. If they really wanted to close a deal, it could have been achieved many months ago, within a few hours."


פרסום ראשון: 12.01.06, 01:15
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