Fatah-Hamas Meeting Shows Doha Deal Going Nowhere (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/03/12)
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A meeting in Cairo between Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and
Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed on Wednesday made no headway towards a
An aide to Azzam speaking on condition of anonymity told reporters
after the two-hour meeting with Mashaal that the meeting
produced "nothing new."
Mashaal and his deputy Moussa Abu Marzouk discussed with al-
Ahmed "the possibility of advancing the reconciliation process, in
particular a government of national unity, but the meeting produced
nothing new," the aide said.
Fatah "stressed the importance of allowing the electoral commission
to resume operations within the (Hamas-run) Gaza Strip so that
President Abbas can set in motion the procedures to form a
government, and fix a date for the elections," an Egyptian mediator
Hamas said it was possible "to resolve the question of the electoral
commission through consultations with [Abbas] over the formation of
the government he will head under the terms of the Doha declaration,"
Mashaal and Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud
Abbas met in Doha on February 6 and hammered out an agreement for the
formation of an interim government of independent technocrats.
Under the terms of deal, Abbas was to serve as head of the interim PA
government, ending a bitter dispute between the two sides over who
would serve as Prime Minister.
However, a growing rift between Hamas´ political leadership outside
of Gaza and officials in the Hamas-ruled enclave over the terror
group´s direction resulted in sharp criticism for the agreement.
At an internal meeting chaired by Mashaal in Cairo on February 23,
Hamas officials presented him with new terms for a unity government
Mashaal has tentatively accepted the notion of a state on the 1967
borders, and offered Abbas a one-year mandate for negotiations with
Israel – though his fellow politburo members maintain any agreement
with Israel will only serve as a “prelude to war.”
However, Hamas’ Gaza chief Ismail Haniyeh maintains that all talks
with Israel are “futile” and believes the tide of the Arab Spring
will lead to victory in the movement’s armed quest to destroy the
An official familiar with the terms told the Bethlehem-based Maan
News Agency that Abbas would almost certainly reject the new terms.
"Hamas demanded to keep the key ministries in the new government,
including the Ministry of Interior," said the official. "It also
demanded no change in the structure of security services in the Gaza
The Interior Ministry controls the Hamas ´security services.´
Additionally, the source said Hamas "was not prepared to abandon
control of Gaza."
In essence, the new terms would allow Hamas to retain sole control
over Gaza while giving it a say in the running of PA enclaves in
Judea and Samaria.
The deal has faced internal opposition from some senior Fatah leaders
as well, who charge PA law forbids Abbas from serving as President
and Prime Minister at one time.
Feuding Hamas and Fatah have been struggling for a year to implement
the terms of a reconciliation deal signed in Cairo in May 2011, which
called for the formation of an interim unity government to pave the
way for presidential and legislative elections.
Representatives from the two sides met several times to determine the
composition of the interim government, but could agree on who should
Hamas and Fatah´s long-term rivalry turned bloody in 2007 when Hamas
seized control of Gaza in a violent putsch. (IsraelNationalNews ©
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