Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may head a Fatah-Hamas unity government, Palestinian sources indicated on Monday, citing a new agreement between the rival factions that could pave for the long-sought-after reconciliation.
Fatah-Hamas deal places Abbas at head of Palestinian unity cabinet, sources say
It wasn’t clear as of yet when the unity government, planned as a caretaker cabinet prior to official Palestinian elections, would be sworn in, with a date to be set in a meeting between Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshal in Qatar later Monday.
That meeting is also expected to result with a date for general Palestinian elections.
If indeed the two factions agreed on Abbas’ leadership of a caretaker unity cabinet, the move would represent a significant breakthrough in the efforts to reach Palestinian reconciliation for the first time since Gaza and the West Bank broke into disunity following Hamas’ violent takeover of the coastal enclave in 2007.
These recent developments, reportedly taking place with aid and mediation of Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa, came despite recent tensions between the rival factions.
Last month, Fatah said it would have to reevaluate its reconciliation pact with Hamas group following the rejection of a Fatah visit to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip last week.
In a statement, Fatah’s Central Committee said Hamas’s behavior showed it was not interested in the implementation of the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo last year, which included the formation of a unity government and the holding of a parliamentary election on May 4.
Speaking following what the Palestinians have called the failure of a recent round of peace talks with Israel, Wasel Abu Yousef, a member of the PLO’s top panel, said that the Palestinian leadership couldaccelerate reconciliation talks with Hamas, adding that "all necessary measure will be weighed in order to strengthen our people’s resolve against the racist and fascist occupation and to increase popular resistance in all Palestinian lands."