Fayyad suggests forming a unity govt.

March 8, 2011 - 0:0

RAMALLAH (Xinhua) – Acting Palestinian Authority Prime Minister-designate Salam Fayyad said Sunday that after studying faults that led to the Palestinian division in 2007, he proposed to form a unity government which would include both Hamas and Fatah.

The unity government that comprised the Islamic resistance Hamas movement and the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas collapsed in June 2007 “due to the absence of a clear security vision,” Fayyad said during an interview with Xinhua.
Regardless of political differences, Fayyad saw common ground between the West Bank-based government and Hamas in “refraining from violence,” noting that this vision was difficult to include in previous governments in which Hamas was present as a result of its victory in 2006 parliamentary elections.
Talking about several Arab and local initiatives that had failed to reconcile Hamas and Fatah, Fayyad said “all the plans were presumptive, expecting the reconciliation first and then restoring the national unity,” adding under his plan, unity could be restored through one government and after that Hamas and Fatah can continue their talks for reconciliation.
“We cannot wait for long until they agree on everything, that's why one government taking care of the Palestinian people's interests and implementing the security vision is important as a first step towards unity,” Fayyad said.
Fayyad agreed that mutual hostility left the two parties without even looking thoroughly at his vision and he had received negative responses, however, he said the responses “focused on the person who presented the ideas rather than the ideas themselves.”
In the meantime, Fayyad also said in the interview that the international community has obligations to help the Palestinians create their own state by September.
There is no need to launch new negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel, Fayyad said. He rejected arguments that dissolving the PA could be a response to the failure of the peace talks.
“The PA will be dissolved when the Palestinian state is established, since it was created as a transitional phase,” Fayyad said.
Fayyad's two-year plan to upgrade national institutions for a possible declaration of an independent Palestinian state also ends in September. “The definition of a Palestinian state should turn from theory to determinism,” he said.
The Palestinians lost confidence in the United States as a sponsor of the negotiations last month, as it vetoed an Arab draft resolution calling for Israel to halt settlement activities.
The Palestinian leadership relies on the Quartet of Middle East peace to put more pressure on Israel. The Quartet, which comprises the United States, European Union, Russia and the United Nations, will meet in Paris on March 15.
Fayyad also called for an end to Israeli army raids on the West Bank cities and villages that are governed by the PNA.
Responding to reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was preparing a new plan for peace, Fayyad said that 17 years have passed since Oslo accords and all final-status issues were looked into, so “there is no need for new peace initiatives.” Now, the need is for “a real political will to reach a final peace deal,” Fayyad added.