PA taking steps to halt reconciliation with Hamas
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Analysis

PA taking steps to halt reconciliation with Hamas

Committee to oversee integration into government institutions stops work; meeting of Palestinian parliament canceled

Avi Issacharoff

Avi Issacharoff, The Times of Israel's Middle East analyst, fills the same role for Walla, the leading portal in Israel. He is also a guest commentator on many different radio shows and current affairs programs on television. Until 2012, he was a reporter and commentator on Arab affairs for the Haaretz newspaper. He also lectures on modern Palestinian history at Tel Aviv University, and is currently writing a script for an action-drama series for the Israeli satellite Television "YES." Born in Jerusalem, he graduated cum laude from Ben Gurion University with a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies and then earned his M.A. from Tel Aviv University on the same subject, also cum laude. A fluent Arabic speaker, Avi was the Middle East Affairs correspondent for Israeli Public Radio covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq and the Arab countries between the years 2003-2006. Avi directed and edited short documentary films on Israeli television programs dealing with the Middle East. In 2002 he won the "best reporter" award for the "Israel Radio” for his coverage of the second intifada. In 2004, together with Amos Harel, he wrote "The Seventh War - How we won and why we lost the war with the Palestinians." A year later the book won an award from the Institute for Strategic Studies for containing the best research on security affairs in Israel. In 2008, Issacharoff and Harel published their second book, entitled "34 Days - The Story of the Second Lebanon War," which won the same prize.

In this file photo provided on Nov. 24, 2011, by the office of Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader Mashaal, left, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are seen together during a meeting in Cairo, Egypt. (photo credit: AP/Office of Khaled Meshaal)
In this file photo provided on Nov. 24, 2011, by the office of Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader Mashaal, left, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are seen together during a meeting in Cairo, Egypt. (photo credit: AP/Office of Khaled Meshaal)

In light of the ongoing crisis regarding the three kidnapped Israeli teens, which Israel has blamed on Islamic terror group Hamas, the Palestinian Authority has stopped taking steps in the reconciliation process with Hamas which led to the establishment earlier this month of a Palestinian unity government, The Times of Israel has learned.

Following statements made Monday by a senior Palestinian official, who told The Times of Israel that if it was proved that Hamas was behind the kidnappings the PA would reevaluate the unity pact, the Palestinian government convened on Tuesday and decided that it would continue to refrain from paying the salaries of former Hamas government officials, some 40,000 in number.

The salaries issue was a focus of tension between Hamas and Fatah after the reconciliation agreement was signed, and banks in the Gaza Strip were closed for six days after the Hamas worker’s salaries were not transferred.

Additionally, Fatah has stopped holding deliberations and meetings of the committee that is to examine the integration of Hamas into PLO institutions, and has decided not to convene the Palestinian parliament, which was to occur in another three weeks’ time.

Hamas had asked that the parliament be convened in order to appoint former prime minister Ismail Haniyeh to the post of Palestinian parliament chairman, which would turn him into Mahmoud Abbas’s successor were Abbas unable to continue in the position of PA president.

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