PA Vows Moves on Hamas Unity Govt. In Coming Days

Abbas reiterates commitment to joint government, says election date will be set in coming days to 'deepen national unity.'

Dalit Halevy, Ari Yashar ,

Senior Hamas, Fatah officials celebrate unity
Senior Hamas, Fatah officials celebrate unity

The Palestinian Authority (PA) repeated its commitment to establish a unity government in the coming days with the terrorist organization Hamas on Tuesday, as peace talks with Israel reached their March 29 deadline.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that steps will be taken within several days to establish an independent technocratic government with Hamas, a government which under the unity agreement reached last Wednesday is to be established within five weeks.

Abbas added that a date for elections of the unity government would similarly be set soon, noting that the elections "will deepen the national unity."

At the Al-Quds Fund establishment conference in Ramallah, Abbas said he was sure the processes would put an end to the divisiveness between the PA and Hamas, and bring a full reconciliation between the two.

Speaking about Israel, Abbas claimed that all authority over the land was in the hands of Israel, repeating his demand to establish a Palestinian state on the 1949 Armistice lines.

Give us authority or give us time

Addressing the Jewish state directly, Abbas threatened "either we'll be a true governmental authority or we'll (live together) with them and the time is ahead of us." He further claimed that solving the conflict with the PA would allow Israel to live in peace with the Arab world.

The PA in January claimed the Arab states "will never recognize Israel," and indeed the Arab League in March backed Abbas in refusing to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.

Abbas concluded by leveling his demands for the continuation of the talks, by which Israel would have to release the fourth batch of terrorists promised as "gestures" for the talks, in addition to holding talks setting Israel's borders.

Those talks would need to last three months according to Abbas, who demanded a freeze on Israeli construction in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria during that period.

At the conference, Abbas likewise attacked Israel for not recognizing eastern Jerusalem as "occupied territory," accusing Israel of "war crimes" and "ethnic cleansing" by allowing movement in its capital city, according to the Arab news agency Wafa.