Hamas Says Technocrat Government 'Ready'

Hamas has already settled on the names of the prime minister and ministers of the new government of technocrats and only awaits the go-ahead from President Mahmoud Abbas to announce them if other parties remain adamant to join a coalition government, a se

Hamas Says Technocrat Government 'Ready'
We will keep a tight lid on the names until President Abbas officially asks Hamas to form the government," Khalil Abu Lila, member of Hamas's politburo and the official in charge of international affairs, told IslamOnline.net.

Abbas will hold talks with Hamas leaders later on Saturday, the first since the group swept the recent parliamentary elections winning an overall majority of 74 seats in the 132-seat legislature.

On Friday, February 3, the Palestinian leader said the formation of a government was still some way off and that talks could take a while.

Abbas said Hamas would most likely be the party to form the new government, which he insisted would have to abide by the agreements signed by the Palestinian Authority.

Defying international pressure, Hamas said Friday that it would never recognize Israel but was willing to negotiate terms for a truce with Tel Aviv.

Piling international pressure, the UN Security Council said Friday all members of a future Palestinian government must disarm and recognize Israel.

A Palestinian Authority official denied Wednesday, February 1, reports Hamas would have to recognize Israel to join the government.

Technocrats

Abu Lila said that the new Palestinian government will be made up of technocrats.

"The lineup will be announced in a couple of days should talks between Hamas and other Palestinian powers reached a dead end," he said.

He reiterated, however, Hamas's readiness to enter into a coalition government with other factions.

"We are neither in a weak position nor incapable of forming the new cabinet by ourselves.

"I underline and underscore that if our calls for a national unity government fell on deaf ears, we will then make our lineup public once we are assigned formally by the president to form the new government."

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on January 28 held out a hand to vanquished Fatah movement for a national partnership serving the welfare of the Palestinian people.

He said the new government will be an "amalgam of technocrats and qualified people whether from Hamas, Fatah or other parties."

Abu Lila dismissed as groundless media reports speculating on the new names of the new premier and ministers.

"They want to provoke us into announcing the names, a trap we would escape," he insisted.

Media reports suggested that either senior Hamas leaders Mahmoud Al-Azhar or Ismail Haniya would serve as prime minister.

No Pressure

Abu Lila shrugged off possible pressures from Abbas on his group.

"He is fully aware of our electoral platform and I don't think that he is going to pressure us."

On a recent visit to Egypt by a senior Hamas delegation, Abu Lila said it was merely a stopover in Cairo.

"The delegation didn't held talks with Egyptian officials," he said. "They just made stopover at Cairo airport before flying to Damascus."

Abu Lila said the group's leaders in and outside the Palestinian territories will soon hold an extensive meeting in Cairo to set the stage for the days to come.

He also played down threats from international donors to cut much-needed aid.

"When equally and justly distribute, little money can do the job," he argued, saying several Arab governments have expressed readiness to support a Hamas-led government.

The United States and European Union have demanded that Hamas "renounce violence," disarm and change its charter calling for the destruction of Israel or risk losing foreign aid to a Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.

PA officials have recently complained they did not have money to pay 140,000 civil servants and were waiting for money to arrive from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Palestinians receive about $1 billion a year from all donors and the PA needs at least $100 million a month.

Israel has froze the transfer of some $55 million in taxes, the main source of the Palestinian Authority's funding which it collected on the PA's behalf.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer asserted Saturday that the funds should be handed over to the Palestinians.

Source: Islamonline.net

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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