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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Islamic Jihad says it will support the PA 'unity government'

Hamas and Fatah reached an agreement on a new PA 'unity government' Thursday night, and Islamic Jihad says that it will support the new 'government.'

Under the agreement, Hamas will hold nine ministries in the Cabinet, including the prime minister's post, Fatah will hold six, and other factions will hold four. Fatah will name 'independents' as foreign minister and two state ministers without portfolio. Hamas will name 'independents' as interior minister, planning minister and a state minister without portfolio. The agreement took the form of a letter from 'moderate' 'Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen to 'moderate' 'Palestinian Prime Minister' Ismail Haniyeh designating Haniyeh to form the new 'government.'

The parties also had a small 'incentive' to reach an agreement as Saudi Arabia promised $1 billion in financial assistance if an agreement was reached.

The agreement does not recognize Israel's 'right to exist,' nor does it require the terrorist organizations to cease their violence. Those are two of the 'quartet's' conditions for recognizing any government led by Hamas, and at the moment it is not clear whether the 'quartet' will lift the boycott imposed last year after Hamas won the 'elections.' The 'quartet' will be meeting on February 21. The 'Palestinians' expect that the Saudis will pressure the United States and the EU to lift the boycott:
Even if they are part of unity government that accepts the Quartet principles the US government would continue to boycott Hamas ministers, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Jewish leaders in a closed door meeting Thursday afternoon.

The Hamas ministers in the government would still belong to a terrorist organization and on that account the US administration would have no contact with them, Rice said, according to Jewish officials who spoke with The Jerusalem Post following the meeting.


Ahmed Yusef, political adviser to Haniyeh , said the Saudi money would be used in phases and would go to paying salaries of civil servants and funding various ministries and projects.

"We highly appreciate the significant role that Saudi Arabia is playing regarding the Palestinian cause," he said. "The Saudis are playing a key role in exerting pressure on the Americans and Europeans to resume financial aid to the Palestinians and deal with the Hamas-led government."
Ehud K. Olmert is taking a low profile but even Shimon Peres is not optimistic about this development:
Vice Premier Shimon Peres, however, issued a statement saying "a united Palestinian government without a united policy in favor of peace doesn't solve any problem."

"A Palestinian government that doesn't lean on the road map and the decisions of the Quartet is simply 'walking in place,'" Peres said. "The Palestinians don't only need to form a new government, they need to embark on a new path toward peace."
Here are some more details on how the terrorists plan to divide the spoils:
The unity government will be headed by Haniyeh, who will have to work with a deputy prime minister from Fatah. Fatah legislator Muhammad Dahlan has been mentioned as a possible candidate for deputy prime minister.

According to the officials, the Foreign Affairs portfolio will be given to independent legislator Ziad Abu Amr, who has close ties with both Fatah and Hamas. The two parties also agreed to reinstate Salaam Fayad as finance minister.

Regarding the controversial Interior Ministry, the two parties agreed to appoint Hamoudeh Jarwan, former head of the PLO's "military courts" in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, as interior minister. He will replace Said Siam of Hamas, who has been strongly criticized by Fatah for establishing Hamas's private paramilitary "Executive Force" in the Gaza Strip.

The agreement also calls for merging the "Executive Force" into various branches of the Fatah-dominated PA security forces. Abbas recently decided to outlaw the Hamas force, but was turned down by the Hamas-led government.

Sources close to the two parties told The Jerusalem Post that Hamas will retain control over the Economy, Sports, Education, Wakf, Justice, Local Government and Communications ministries. They said Fatah will receive the ministries of Health, Transportation, Public Works, Agriculture, Social Welfare and Prisoners Affairs.


At 10:43 PM, Blogger Dr Hulda Clark said...

Whatever the governmental crises of Hamas and Israel but the people of Hamas are innocent.


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