Unity Gov't: Fatah Agrees

Fatah leadership formulates plan for unity gov't with Hamas over all areas under Palestinian Authority control. Hamas, however, has not yet agreed.

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 18:26

Fayyad; Arafat on wall
Fayyad; Arafat on wall
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The leadership of Fatah has formulated a plan for a unity government with Hamas over all the areas under Palestinian Authority control – Gaza, Judea and Samaria. Hamas, however, has not yet agreed.

The plan, reported by the PA’s Ma'an news agency, was formulated by PA prime minister Salam Fayyad, and was approved by PA Chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas). It calls for a unity government, headed by Fayyad, that will run affairs in the different areas via the already existing institutions of both Fatah and Hamas.

Correspondent Haggai Huberman quotes Fatah officials as saying that as a goodwill gesture towards Hamas for agreeing to resolve the split between the two, it will allow the Hamas security forces to continue to operate in Gaza. The officials said Hamas must also agree to continue its "ceasefire" with Israel (a unique kind of "ceasefire" that involves regular missile strikes on Israeli citizens).

Though some Hamas officials have reportedly agreed to the plan, the story is not yet over. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zohari said today that Fayyad is not authorized to speak of a new PA government since he himself represents Fatah. “A solution is needed for this crisis,” Abu Zohari said, “in the framework of a comprehensive national dialogue – and not just a search for a way to save Fatah from the dead end it faces in the negotiations.”

Fatah and Hamas fought a short but bloody war in May-June of 2007, in which 170 were killed. Both groups killed opponents by throwing them from building tops. 

The battles left Hamas in control of Gaza, and sporadic clashes have erupted since then as well.