Daily Israel Report

Hamas Vying for Control of Unity Government

Despite EU claims that pact would be run by Abbas - and is therefore 'reliable' - Hamas spokesman claims Haniyeh to be in charge.
By Dalit Halevi, Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 4/28/2014, 8:20 PM

Senior Hamas, Fatah officials celebrate unity deal in Gaza
Senior Hamas, Fatah officials celebrate unity deal in Gaza
Reuters

Hamas called on all Palestinian Arab organizations on Monday to cease any activities bound to disrupt the reconciliation efforts between the terror organization and Fatah so that a unity government may be formed in five weeks - under Hamas's leadership. 

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, criticized all Palestinian Arab organizations or parties calling for Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to resign Monday, stating that Haniyeh will be the head of the unity government.

Abu Zuhri also reiterated Hamas's determination to bring about the successful implementation of the reconciliation agreement, which it considers a response to intervention by the U.S. and Israel in the internal affairs of the Palestinian Arab people via peace talks. 

Hamas and Fatah announced a reconciliation deal last week, sparking outrage among Israeli ministers. Concerns have been raised over the security risks the unity pact could pose to Israel - especially as the Palestinian Authority (PA) makes a bid for international legitimacy on the one hand, and allies itself with a known terror organization on the other.

The European Union (EU) dismissed those concerns on Sunday, however - based on its conviction that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, not Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, would remain in charge of a unity government. 

"The EU expects any new government to uphold the principle of non-violence, to remain committed to achieving a two-state solution and to a negotiated peaceful settlement ... including Israel's legitimate right to exist," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton insisted Sunday. 

Ashton urged Israel and the PA to resume peace talks despite the pact - based, on Abbas's "reliability" in comparison to Hamas's.

"The fact that President Abbas will remain fully in charge of the negotiation process and have a mandate to negotiate in the name of all Palestinians provides further assurance that the peace negotiations can and must proceed," she claimed.