Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Hamas Will Take Part in Palestinian Govt., Refuses to Discuss its Arms | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah, center, poses for a photo next to the head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, fourth left, during a meeting in Gaza City. (AP)

Ramallah – The Hamas movement announced that it will be part of a Palestinian national unity government that will be formed soon as part of the recent reconciliation with the rival Fatah organization.

This will help pave way for holding general elections.

The two Palestinian factions will tackle the details of this government when they meet in Cairo in a series of meetings that will kick off on Tuesday.

The Hamas official responsible for national ties, Hussam Badran, said that the national unity government “means the real participation of all active Palestinian factions, starting with Hamas.”

“This is everyone’s right. In fact, it is a duty at this stage. Our people deserve to choose who should lead them on the path of salvation from occupation,” he stressed.

The mechanism of resisting and confronting the occupation should also be devised during this phase, he added.

It remains to be seen whether Hamas will participate directly or indirectly in the government. Independent figures may be chosen. Hamas’ participation is one of the obstacles that may hinder reconciliation due to the Israeli-American demand that any upcoming government recognize Israel.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that unknown figures may be chosen to occupy ministerial posts because they may not have clear direct ties with Hamas and other factions. This will allow the government to commit to the Palestinian Liberation Organization program and avoid having Hamas recognize Israel.

Hamas politburo member Khalil al-Hayyah said that nothing can stand in the way of reconciliation if the conviction to achieve partnership and united work is available.

“We are headed towards Palestinian reconciliation with an open mind that will help make the anticipated Cairo meeting a success,” he added.

“There is a real chance to end the Palestinian division … it is wrong to place obstacles before the dialogue has even started,” he continued.

He said that Hamas believes that there should be a single authority, government and legislative council that would represent each Palestinian.

It should be able to manage their lives on the basis of serving and supporting the citizen and not at the expense of the Palestinian cause, Hayya stated.

He also spoke of a single government that would rule the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This will also encompass security forces.

The Hamas official vowed however that the “resistance’s weapons” will be left out of the discussions.

“The weapons are not open to discussion. A prior agreement has been made over this,” he said.

The Cairo talks will cover the issue of former Hamas government employees. They will also address border, security and crossings issues.