Palestinians Negotiate Unity Govverment

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh agreed on Wednesday, August 16, to start negotiations on forming a national unity government, amid Israeli media reports that the US had tried to press Abbas into discharge the incumben

Palestinians Negotiate Unity Govverment

"We are on our way to reaching solutions. One of them provides for the creation of national unity government based on the national accord document," Abbas said after meeting Haniyeh.

"We discussed various issues of interest to our people which need solutions ... As of now, consultations will start to achieve this goal," he added.

Haniyeh said his talks with Abbas tackled an array of issues topped by forming a national unity government.

He added that they have agreed to start negotiations on forming the government based on the prisoners' document, a national reconciliation project drafted in June by senior Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails.

The document implicitly recognizes Israel right to exist by calling for a Palestinian state on land occupied by Israel in 1967, including Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem).

The 18-point plan also calls for "focusing" resistance attacks against Israeli forces in areas occupied in 1967.

Under Siege

Haniyeh said forming a unity government aims at strengthening national unity and ease the siege on the Palestinians.

The US and EU froze international aid to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority after Hamas came to the helm of power following its sweeping parliamentary elections.

Israel has also suspended the monthly payment of customs duties, worth more than 50 million dollars, it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on goods that transit through its territory.

This is affecting the livelihoods of around one million people or a quarter of the population of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Israeli occupation forces have further abducted the third of the Palestinian government and tens of Hamas MPs.

Late on Saturday, August 5, Israeli forces abducted Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Aziz Dweik from his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

He became the most senior of more than sixty Palestinian cabinet ministers, lawmakers, mayors and politicians kidnapped by Israeli forces


The announcement emerged hours after revelations that the Bush administration has asked Abbas to discharge the Hamas-led government.

Sources told Israel's Haaretz daily US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch had asked the Palestinian leader a month ago to sack the incumbent cabinet and form an emergency government of technocrats instead.

Abbas snubbed the American suggestions, saying any emergency government would require authorization by the Palestinian parliament, in which Hamas holds a comfortable majority.

The sources also said that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Abbas during her Mideast visit three weeks ago the administration was opposed to forming a national unity government.

She said that any unity government must first recognize Israel, uphold international agreements and condemn what she termed as "terrorism".


Meanwhile, Sweden said it would host a conference early September on aiding the Palestinians, Reuters reported.

"The humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories is deteriorating all the time. The human suffering in Gaza especially is getting worse by the day," said Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation Carin Jamtin.

"The conference is about more funds, more coordination and also to get access to deliver the humanitarian help we hope to be able to provide."

Sweden said the September 1 conference will be held in close consultation with the United Nations and Abbas.

A UN report said on Monday, August 7, that Gaza residents were facing some of the worst humanitarian conditions in years.

It said that more than 70 percent of Gazans were now reliant on emergency assistance to meet daily food needs, while prices of essential

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16