France to host Palestinian unity government
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France to host Palestinian unity government

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says summit with joint Fatah-Hamas cabinet to be held in Paris in early 2015

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas (R) meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during the Gaza Donor Conference in Cairo on October 12, 2014. photo credit: (AFP/PPO / THAER GHANEM)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas (R) meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during the Gaza Donor Conference in Cairo on October 12, 2014. photo credit: (AFP/PPO / THAER GHANEM)

The French government intends to hold a joint meeting with the Palestinian unity government in Paris at the beginning of 2015, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced, and he called for the international community to take a more active role in restarting peace talks with Israel.

Fabius agreed on the meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Israel Radio reported on Monday.

The two men met at a donor conference in Cairo the day before. The conference raised $5.4 billion from some 50 countries on behalf of the Palestinians, with half the amount slated for reconstructing the war-damaged Gaza Strip and the rest intended for the Palestinian Authority’s coffers.

Fabius expressed his country’s support for the Palestinian internal reconciliation between rival parties Fatah and Hamas that led to the unity government in April.

The top French diplomat added that the international community should be involved in future negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel, and that the community should chaperone the talks in order to ensure positive results.

The report did not specify how the planned meeting would accommodate Hamas’s presence in the unity government, as the Gaza-based group was designated a terror organization by the European Union in 2003.

Hamas forcibly took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, ousting forces loyal to Abbas and sparking a bitter and bloody split with his Fatah movement, which continued for years until the two sides signed a reconciliation deal in April.

The deal led to the formation of a unity government that took office on June 2, following which Gaza’s Hamas government formally stepped down.

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