Abbas begins talks to form national unity government
search

Abbas begins talks to form national unity government

Both Fatah and Hamas will have to forgo key demands in order for reconciliation talks to succeed

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (center) meeting in Cairo, on February 23, 2012 (photo credit: Mohammed Al-Hums/Flash90)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (center) meeting in Cairo, on February 23, 2012 (photo credit: Mohammed Al-Hums/Flash90)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced Saturday that he has started conducting negotiations to form a national unity government with Hamas, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. Abbas also called on all other Palestinian parties to take part in the political process.

Abbas’s party Fatah, which would like to hold general elections as soon as possible, had required in the past that the unity government — the formation of which was decided on last year —  will serve as an interim government for no more than three months, and be tasked solely with preparing for national elections.

For its part, Hamas, which aspires to join the PLO, has demanded that elections for the PLO’s Palestinian National Council (PNC) — the movement’s legislative body — take place simultaneously with parliamentary and presidential elections in the PA.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Abbas failed to consult with his organization before making the announcement, and that Hamas heard about it through media reports.

Earlier this week, Egypt proposed a new compromise formula to break the deadlock in reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas.

Quoting “knowledgeable sources,” Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Sunday that Egypt plans to pressure both Fatah and Hamas to forgo a respective key demand.

Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads since the violent Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments