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Abbas: New Government Will Honor Previous Agreements

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas says his unity government with Hamas will respect agreements signed with Israel.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/19/2012, 6:15 AM

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that the unity government he will enter with the Hamas terror organization will respect agreements signed by the PLO, AFP reported.

The report cited the PA-based WAFA news agency which quoted Abbas as having said, “The next government will remain committed to the obligations and agreements signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization.” He was referring to the 1993 Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the PLO.

Abbas recently signed an agreement  in Qatar with Hamas’ politburo chief Khaled Mashaal. The agreement calls for Abbas to head an interim government, which will be made up of "independent technocrats."

Abbas’ comments drew an angry reaction from Hamas, whose spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri was quoted as having said they “violate” the agreements between Abbas and Mashaal.

“The remarks made by Abbas are rejected and violate the agreements because the next government is a national unity government. It is everyone's government, not one of a particular political group,” Abu Zuhri qas quoted as having said.

He added, “The next government is a transitional government with clear duties... It has no political program.”

The agreement was recently slammed by Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar, who said it was a “mistake” and criticized Mashaal for not having consulted anyone inside Hamas about it. Al-Zahar's comments seem to confirm recent analyses that the unity agreement with Fatah is causing a split within Hamas.

Meanwhile, with or without an agreement with Hamas, the PA’s prime minister Salam Fayyad admitted this week his administration is actively defying Israel and operating in eastern Jerusalem.

"The PA is continuously trying to allocate resources inside the city, which Israel occupied in 1967," Fayyad said in his weekly radio address from Ramallah.

"The Israeli government is trying to impose its policies to control Jerusalem and its institutions, which is contrary to international law and signed agreements," Fayyad said.

“This all won’t change the truth that East Jerusalem is the main part of the occupied Palestinian territories," Fayyad said in his weekly radio address, which focused on Israeli policy in the city.

"Israel must realize that there won’t be any chance of a long lasting peace without East Jerusalem as the capital of an independent Palestinian state," Fayyad said.

Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, to which Fayyad's government is beholden, Israel retains both full administrative and security control of Jerusalem.