Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, Nayif Hawatmah, the secretary general of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine [DFLP], has called for the formation of an interim government composed of independent national figures to replace the government of Salam Fayyad that represents Fatah and the government of Ismail Haniyeh that represents Hamas. The proposed interim government should serve as caretaker to run the affairs in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem, undertake steps to safeguard the security of the Palestinian people, and use the power of the law to stop all forms of internal conflict. This government must also make the necessary preparations for new elections.
He was speaking after Minister Omar Suleiman, the director of Egyptian Intelligence, met with delegations of the Islamic Jihad Movement and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to discuss ways to end the Palestinian division. He is scheduled to meet successively with delegations of the other Palestinian factions and conclude with meetings with the delegations of Hamas and Fatah. Hawatmah said, “The DFLP is calling for a series of steps on which agreement must be reached to ensure complete success. They include holding legislative and presidential elections, based on a new elections law and full relative representation, to ensure the participation of all the components and factions of the Palestinian people.” They also include agreement on a timetable for holding the elections. Hawatmah said that the timetable must not exceed nine months from the conclusion of the comprehensive dialogue expected to start after the blessed Id al-Fitr. He continued, “The DFLP is also calling for preparations to be made for elections to the Palestinian National Council at home and in the diaspora. These elections must be based on the principle of full relative representation to revitalize and develop the PLO institutions in implementation of the Cairo declaration and the national accord document signed by all the factions on 26 July 2006.” Hawatmah stressed the need to stop political arrests and release all political detainees from Fatah and Hamas under the supervision of a higher joint national committee in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. He also called for ending what he called “the daily incitement between Fatah and Hamas.” The DFLP secretary general called on the Arab and non-Arab capitals in the Middle East to “stop their daily interference in the Palestinian internal crisis, because this deepens Palestinian division.” Hawatmah called on the Arab foreign ministers, who will meet in Cairo on 9September, to abide in practice by the resolutions they unanimously adopted in June and September 2007, after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip by the force of arms, and in January 2008. He also called on them to abide by there solutions of the Damascus summit, embrace the Yemeni initiative, and establish implementation mechanisms to restore Palestinian unity. Hawatmah said, “Ending the Palestinian division depends on the decision of the Palestinian factions, in their anticipated dialogue, to embrace the Palestinian national consensus document and the Yemeni initiative in implementation of there solutions of the Damascus Arab summit and the Egyptian paper that Cairo is seeking to write following its bilateral talks with all the factions.” Meanwhile, Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman yesterday discussed with the Popular Struggle Front and the DFLP ways to end the Palestinian division and restore unity. Following his meeting with the Egyptian Intelligence Chief, Dr. Samir Ghawshah, the secretary general of the Popular Struggle Front, affirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the front’s delegation discussed with Minister Omar Suleiman the overall situation in the Palestinian arena and the ways to resolve the current crisis and division, which negatively affects the Palestinian cause.
Ghawshah said that the talks dealt with several issues, such as the truce, the results of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, and the siege imposed on the Palestinian people and the ways to lift this siege.
Ghawshah revealed that the front handed the Egyptian officials a paper containing its views for solving the Palestinian division crisis, noting, “Based on this paper and the views of the other Palestinian factions, Egypt will prepare a working paper to submit to the meeting of all the Palestinian factions after Idal-Fitr.”