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Egypt, Syria, Gulf States Prepare Plan for Fatah to Join Hamas-Formed Government - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Gaza, Asharq Al-Awsat- In a statement to Asharq al-Awsat, high ranking Hamas officials have revealed that Egypt, Syria, and some Gulf states have prepared a plan allowing the Fatah Movement to participate in a government to be formed by Hamas. This is on the condition that the Hamas agree to curtail the powers of the new prime minister and the government in general.

The sources added that both Cairo and Damascus hope that this plan will convince Fatah to join a government that is to be formed by Hamas.

As part of the plan, Hamas is called upon to reduce the powers of the Palestinian prime minister and the government in general, especially with regard to foreign relations and security. The plan calls for transferring the powers regarding foreign relations and security to the presidency institution, while Fatah keeps a number of key ministries, namely the interior ministry and national security.

The sources stated that the Egyptian and Syrian governments conveyed the outlines of the proposal to the Hamas leadership abroad. The sources added that this has been the main reason behind the visit of a Hamas delegation to Cairo for a meeting with the movement’s leadership abroad to discuss the Egyptian-Syrian proposal.

The sources pointed out that Hamas has not yet given its response to this proposal. They added that some Gulf States are playing a mediating role between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority leadership, and Fatah to emerge from the current crisis.

For its part, Egypt is exerting efforts to ensure that former Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayyad will keep his post in the new government, in addition to the post of deputy prime minister.

The post of foreign minister is expected to be given to MP Ziyad Abu-Amr who was supported by Hamas in the recent elections.

In advance, Hamas rejected any conditions set by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, otherwise known as Abu-Mazen, to designate it to form the next government if these conditions violate the national constants in which the movement believes.

Media reports had quoted Egyptian Intelligence Director Omar Suleiman as saying that Abu-Mazen will tell Hamas to respect the Palestinian Authority’s political obligations, including the recognition of Israel, before it forms a government. In response to these reports, Dr Mahmoud Ramahi, a Hamas leader in the West Bank, told Asharq al-Awsat that his movement will not agree to bargain over its constants and program on the basis of which it won the trust of the Palestinian people.

Al-Ramahi who was elected as deputy in the new parliament added that no conditions whatsoever could be imposed on the party that won the elections.

He noted that theoretically Abu Mazen could designate a political force, other than Hamas to form a government. However, he added, such a government will not secure the legislative council’s vote of confidence because Hamas controls 60 percent of the council’s seats.

Ramahi ruled out the possibility of Abu Mazen and the Egyptian Government discussing the imposition of conditions on Hamas before the formation of a new government. He asserted that Hamas has channels of communication with Abu Mazen and Omar Suleiman.

Ramahi warned that an attempt by Abu Mazen to impose conditions on the Hamas movement would cause a severe crisis. He emphasized that his movement does not derive its legitimacy from anyone whatsoever. Rather, it derives this legitimacy from the trust, which the Palestinian people placed in it, he added.

For his part, Dr Yehiya Musa, a member of Hamas’s political leadership in the Gaza Strip and an elected member of parliament, said that Abu Mazen should have called on the occupation authorities’ government to comply with its obligations that are stipulated in accords signed with the Palestinian Authority before asking Hamas to do the same.

In a statement to Asharq al-Awsat, Musa said his movement realizes that it cannot completely turn its back on the Oslo accords with which it deals as a de facto situation. On the other hand, he added, it cannot allow anyone to call on it to implement these accords while the occupation state implemented only 20 percent of the provisions stipulated in these accords. He further asserted that the Palestinian people would not allow anyone to force them to give up on them.

After Abu-Mazen’s recent meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, Umar Suleiman quoted Abu Mazen as saying that Hamas must accept to recognize Israel, “renounce violence, and respect all the agreements that have been signed with Israel, before designating it to form a new Palestinian government.”

Suleiman who attended the meeting said Abu-Mazen asserted that he would form a government with parties, other than Hamas, if the latter does not comply with conditions to which he asked the movement to fulfill.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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