'Nothing in Place' to Reconcile Hamas Unity Pact

Unity PM says each faction is responsible for its own problems, hours after Hamas declares it is looking for 'alternatives.'

Tova Dvorin,

Rami Hamdallah
Rami Hamdallah
Flash 90

A crumbling unity pact between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas may not be reconciled, PA unity government "Prime Minister" Rami Hamdallah stated Thursday, amid rising tensions between the various Palestinian Arab factions.

According to Hamdallah - whose remarks were recorded by Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency - no plans have been instituted to ensure the implementation of the reconciliation agreement signed by Hamas and the PA's Fatah in April. 

Instead, he said, all political parties who signed the agreement are "fully responsible" for finding solutions to internal conflict, and he urged Hamas, Fatah, Islamic Jihad, and other factions to hold emergency meetings to resolve their issues. 

Hamdallah's admission surfaces just hours after similar remarks were made by Hamas political official Mahmoud Zahran. Late Thursday night, Zahran alleged that the unity pact was meant as a "temporary measure" and that Hamas was looking for "alternative solutions." 

"There is no doubt [the current government] is a failure," Zahran added. 

Hamas and Fatah have seen deep differences of opinion since the unity government was established in June, including the war in Gaza, reactions to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, and the delayed payment of wages for government workers in Gaza in the weeks leading up to Operation Protective Edge. 

Hamdallah on Thursday placed the total number of "civil servants" still waiting on wages at over 40,000, highlighting the severity of the crisis and noting that a committee had been established within the PA to tackle the issue. 

The "premier" also blamed foreign intervention for the lack of national unity, saying that international donors had refused to continue aid if the salaries were paid to workers hired by the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza. 

However, the committee may not be enough to placate angry Fatah members, after Hamas staged dozens of executions of Palestinian Arabs allegedly "collaborating with Israel" - or working for Fatah - prompting at least one Fatah official to compare Hamas to global jihadist group Islamic State (ISIS).

Hamas has also refused the PA's demands that it supervise rebuilding in Gaza, sources say - furthering sowing discord between the two factions. It was also Fatah who exposed Hamas's human trafficking operation of Palestinian civilians to Europe earlier this month.