Fatah's Abbas
Photo: AFP
Hamas' Haniyeh
Photo: AP

Egypt pushes for Palestinian unity government

Cairo invites Fatah, Hamas to attend talks which would deal with establishment of PA unity cabinet ahead of January elections, integration of Hamas, Islamic Jihad factions into PLO

Egypt has suggested that Hamas and Fatah establish a unity government ahead of the January elections in the Palestinian Authority. The offer was made in invitations issued to the rival Palestinian factions to attend talks in Cairo on November 9.


The Egyptians also proposed the legislation of an election law which would be suitable for the Palestinian and the forces operating amongst them.


According to the draft invitation, the Palestinian organizations will work to extend the truce with Israel. The armed resistance, the invite said, "is the Palestinians' legitimate right as long as it is part of a broad agreement shared by all the organizations."


The draft also determined that the Palestinian dialogue would deal with the reestablishment of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's institutions, in a way which would integrate Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.


This is the most sensitive clause and is a cause for concern for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as it means that Hamas would be a full partner in the organization's institutions.


The movement has already indicated in the past that it would be interested in the role of deputy PLO chairman, at the least.


PLO officials fear that letting Hamas into its institutions would eventually lead to Hamas taking over the organization which signed the Oslo Accords with Israel. Hamas has hinted in the past that in return for this clause, it would be willing to relax its stance on other issues.


Another clause in the draft invitation determines that the Palestinian security organizations will undergo a comprehensive reform on a professional and national basis rather than on an organizational one.


Hamas demands a role and involvement in the security organizations' reform in the West Bank as well as in the Gaza Strip, which would provide it with more than a right of entry into the West Bank organizations.


Over the past year, the United States has been working on bolstering and rebuilding the West Bank organizations, while returning to almost complete security coordination.


פרסום ראשון: 10.20.08, 11:03
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