[Official PA website]
GAZA, Palestine, February 10,2007 (IPC+ Agencies) -
Fateh and Hamas leaders meeting in Mecca signed on Thursday night a unity
government deal after two days of intensive talks and negotiations in Saudi
Arabia. The President Mahmoud Abbas authorized Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas
to form the unity government and according to the letter of appointment to "
respect the signed agreements by Palestine Liberation Organization PLO.
The Qatar-based, Al Jazeera News Agency aired live footage of signing
ceremony which was attended by the Saudi King Abdulla.
The deal was signed by Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Hamas
political bureau chief, Khalid Mashal. Mashal said that Hamas would not
break the signed agreement for unity government, and added that all factions
would respect it.
Also, Mashal asked the international community to recognize the new
government that would lead to the unity government. Nabil Amr, an advisor to
Abbas, announced the agreement and read a letter from president Abbas to
Ismail Haniyya, assigning him to the new cabinet within five weeks. The new
government will be in accordance with the formula agreed during the talks.
The letter also states that the new government led by Haniyya would
recognize the previously signed agreements with Israel.
President Abbas said that the agreement would satisfy the Palestinians and
bring them to peace. Meanwhile, Mashal stated that this agreement would
unify the Palestinians and that Hamas would be committed to unity.
The agreement will also follow the Detainees' Document which was placed by
senior Palestinian detainees held by Israel, including Marwan Barghouthi.
The Document calls for a Palestinian State in the territories occupied since
1967, including East Jerusalem.
The new formulation of the government will leave Haniyya in place as head of
the government. The Minister of Interior was named by Hamas, he was
identified as Hammouda Jarwan, 55, an independent figure; Fateh agreed.
The Ministry of Finance will be given to Salam Fayyad, from the Third Way
Bloc, and the Foreign Ministry will be given to Ziad Abu Amro, independent.
Hamas will be in charge of nine ministries; Ministry of Education, Waqf and
religious Affairs, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Communication
and Information Technology, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Justice, Ministry
of Sport, Ministry of National Economy, and a Minister without portfolio.
Hamas will also name an independent figure for the Ministry of Planning,
Fateh will be in charge of six ministries; Ministry of Health, Ministry of
Social Affairs, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Detainees, Ministry of
Transportation, Ministry of Agriculture, and will name an independent
minister. The vice Prime Minister, and a minister without portfolio, will be
named by Fateh. The ministries of Media, Womens Affairs, Culture and Tourism
will be distributed between the rest of the factions which are The Popular
Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Al Badeel Bloc, Independent Palestine
Bloc, and the fourth remaining ministry will be given to Hamas.
The Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine said on Friday it will not
participate in the unity government but said it will give it all possible
Israel demands recognition
Meanwhile, Israel demanded the International Community to confirm that the
new government will recognize Israel's right to exist. Israeli Foreign
Minister, Tzipi Livni, said on Thursday evening that the Palestinian
government must recognize the previously signed peace deals, and renounce
Livni, currently visiting Spain, stated that all agreements are still valid,
and that any government must recognize them. Livni added that the
international community drew three requirements that the Palestinian
government should accept; the recognition of Israel, renouncing violence,
and adopting the previous Israeli-Palestinian peace deals.
Israeli government spokeswoman, Miri Eisin, repeated the same demands voiced
by Livni. Hamas movement issued an official statement welcoming the
agreement, and considered it a national achievement. The movement said that
this agreement brought a sense of relief and comfort to the Palestinian
Quartet repeats three conditions to deal with new unity gov't
The Quartet of Middle East mediators on Friday repeated its demand that any
Palestinian government renounce violence, recognize Israel and respect peace
deals in order to receive Western aid.
In a joint statement, the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the
United States withheld judgment on whether a new national unity government
to be formed by Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah met its conditions.
"The Quartet welcomed the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in reaching
the agreement to form a Palestinian National Unity government. The Quartet
expressed hope that the desired calm would prevail," the group said in the
statement released by the U.S. State Department after a quartet conference
"While awaiting formation of the new Palestinian government, the Quartet
reaffirmed its statement of February 2 regarding its support for a
Palestinian government committed to nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and
acceptance of previous agreements and obligations," it added.
Russia welcomes new coalition Gov't
However, Russia on Friday welcomed the agreement by rival Palestinian
factions to form a unity government and appealed for the lifting of a freeze
on direct aid to the Palestinian government.
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