PLO Official: 'Unity' Government By the End of May
Member of the Central Committee of Fatah, Azzam Al-Ahmad, expressed "confidence" Monday that a Hamas-Fatah unity government will be established by the end of May - despite growing opposition from Hamas leaders to the pact's existence.
In an interview with the Jordanian newspaper Al-Radth, Ahmed said that the powers of the government will be defined by the Palestinian Basic Laws, and include new clauses implementing the reconciliation agreement, parliamentary elections and the "rehabilitation" of Gaza.
Ahmed also stated that the unity government will not be forced to recognize Israel, nor engage in peace talks, if they should become a possibility again in the future.
"There is no connection between the government and the recognition of Israel or conducting negotiations with it," he insisted, "similar to the previous government, which did not intervene in this matter, and the Oslo Accords, which forbid involvement in foreign affairs."
It should be noted that the Palestinian Authority directly broke the Oslo Accords last month, by applying for international agencies and organizations.
The unity government fits one snag, according to Ahmed: detractors from Hamas.
"Some people are comfortable continuing the split, and they are not satisfied with the reconciliation agreement," Ahmed said. "In their eyes, the move is not in their favor, and does not serve the external factors with which they are associated."
Hamas continues to be adamant over its full control of a "unity" government, expressing over and over again that it would remain in control of both Gaza and the PA after elections and insisting that Ismail Haniyeh would rule the government.
Hamas representatives have already claimed that the PA's police forces will be integrated into Hamas's police in Gaza, less than a week after co-founderMahmoud Al-Zahar angrily denied allowing Hamas to be integrated into the PA side of law enforcement.
"Nobody will touch the security sections in Gaza. No one will be able to touch one person from the military group. Nobody asked for that," Zahar declared to Reuters. He also claimed that Abbas is "lying" about being in charge of a unity government and charged him with vying for the continuation of US aid.
Under the terms of the Hamas-Fatah unity deal, signed on April 23, the two sides would work together to form an "independent government" of technocrats, to be headed by Abbas, that would pave the way for long-delayed elections.