Hamas Says 'Unity Government' Coming Within Days
A new “Palestinian consensus government” to be named by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas is to be finalized within days, a senior Hamas official told AFP on Sunday.
Bassem Naim, an adviser to Hamas's premier in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said a senior member of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement would meet with Hamas officials in Gaza this week to conclude negotiations.
Azzam al-Ahmad is "arriving in Gaza on Wednesday and Thursday to meet with the Hamas reconciliation delegation to hold consultations," Naim told AFP.
"We expect the government to be announced by (Abbas) early the following week," he said.
According to the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement which was announced at the end of April, Abbas will announce the dates for elections, and Fatah and Hamas will form a unity government.
The agreement aims to bring an end to the longstanding feud between Fatah and Hamas, which began in 2007 when Hamas took control of Gaza in a bloody coup and started cracking down on Fatah officials living in the territory.
The reconciliation deal has incensed Israel, putting the final nail in the coffin of faltering U.S.-led peace talks between Israel and Abbas's administration.
Since the agreement was announced, the sides have made conflicting statements about the make-up of the unity government.
Hamas has continues to be adamant over its full control of the new government, expressing over and over again that it would remain in control of both Gaza and the PA after elections and insisting that Haniyeh would rule the government.
Abbas, meanwhile, has claimed that Hamas will not be a part of the new unity government, nor will that government include representatives of other Palestinian Arab organizations.
He has also insisted that he will head the new unity government and that this government will adopt his political platform which renounces violence.
Meanwhile, Haniyeh said this past weekend that not only will Hamas be part of the government, but the Islamic Jihad terrorist group will be part of it as well.