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Palestinian Reconciliation Delays Government Formation - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A Fatah movement member stands next to a mural of the Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in the Ain al-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese city of Sidon. (AFP)

A Fatah movement member stands next to a mural of the Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in the Ain Al-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese city of Sidon. (AFP)

Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat—A new Palestinian government has not been formed, despite the fact that Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas accepted the resignation of his prime minister, Salam Fayyad, over a week ago.

An informed source told Asharq Al-Awsat that President Abbas intends to wait for the outcome of the reconciliation efforts between the Fatah and Hamas movements before forming a new government.

“The president prefers to come to an agreement with Hamas and then form a government of qualified figures led by him, rather than form a new government in the West Bank that may be obliged to resign at any moment,” said the source, adding, “however, if an agreement with Hamas becomes unlikely, he will certainly form a government.”

Under Palestinian law, the president has about five weeks to form a new government. If Fayyad agrees to continue in his post as prime minister, or if he is asked to form a government, this period may be extended. However, the outgoing prime minister has emphasized that he is not willing to resume the position.

Fayyad tendered his resignation earlier this month over a dispute with President Abbas.

His resignation followed weeks of controversy between the two Palestinian leaders over the resignation of finance minister Nabil Qassis, as well as disagreements over a forthcoming draft budget.

The source also revealed that the next stage will see the Fatah movement pushing for an agreement with Hamas. If this takes place, Abbas is going to immediately issue two decrees—one for the formation of the new government and the other setting a date for elections—according to the source.

Fatah is waiting for the results of the meeting of Hamas’s new Political Bureau, which plans to discuss the reconciliation agreement in its first meeting in Qatar.