Palestinians agree unity government

Fatah and Hamas, the rival Palestinian factions, have agreed on the composition of a Palestinian unity government.

Palestinians agree unity government

Fatah and Hamas, the rival Palestinian factions, have agreedon the composition of a Palestinian unity government.

Ismail Haniya, the prime minister and one of Hamas' leaders,made the announcement after talks with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian presidentand Fatah leader, in which they agreed the appointment of a new interiorminister.

Haniya said: "Today is an occasion to celebrate. Wehave done everything."

The full cabinet line-up will beunveiled on Thursday, officials from both sides said.

Final approval

Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for president Mahmoud Abbas,said: "The government is now ready and its composition will be announcedon Thursday morning."

Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the rival Hamas movement, saidHaniya has already asked parliament to convene on Saturday at 0900 GMT to voteon the new line-up.

The two sides agreed at a summit in Mecca in February to form a unity government after monthsof fighting in Gazathat left dozens of Palestinians dead.

Hani al-Qawasmi, a senior interior ministry official withgood relations with both Hamas and Fatah, was named as the new interiorminister.

Interior minister

Speaking exclusively to Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza, al-Qawasmi said:"It's a very serious job, I have not yet been told about the nature ofthis role.

"We will depend on the goodwill of the people of thecountry and will work things out in the right way."

Israelhas vowed to boycott the unity government, including non-Hamas ministers,unless it recognises the Jewish state, renounces violence and accepts interimpeace deals as demanded by the Quartet of Middle East mediators.

Washingtonhas also made clear to Palestinian officials that the embargo will not belifted until the three conditions are met.

Abu Rudeina also urged the international community togive the government a chance, despite misgivings about Hamas.

"There will be a new Palestinian government and we callon all parties, including the Arabs, to work and live with this government, andto give it an opportunity," he said.

"The moment we come to an agreement with Israel we willgo to a referendum and the Palestinian people will be the final ones todecide."

Palestinians hope the deal willend fighting between secular Fatah and Hamas Islamists, as well as ease acrippling aid embargo of the Palestinian Authority by western governments.

Hours before the announcement, nine people were wounded inclashes between Hamas and Fatah factions in northern Gaza on Wednesday, hospital sources said.

They said the clashes broke out in Beit Lahya, where about12 members of the two factions were kidnapped.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16