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Shaath: New government within 10 days
Published Tuesday 10/05/2011 (updated) 12/05/2011 01:15
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A new government will be formed in 10 days, a top member of the ruling party in Ramallah said Tuesday.

Fatah leader Nabil Shaath said the prime minister had not yet been announced, and he did not rule out Salam Fayyad.

Shaath told Ma'an that the US and EU were pressing Israel to release Palestinian Authority tax revenue, which was frozen when Hamas and Fatah signed a unity agreement this month in the Egyptian capital.

"We don't have financial reserves and the PA is in debt. It doesn't have the ability to remain stable for a month or two without reserves," Shaath said underscoring the risk to government employees.

The only regular payments to the PA from Arab countries are $7.7 million per month from Saudi Arabia and $4 million per month from the United Arab Emirates, Shaath noted.

In a unity deal signed in Cairo last week, Palestinian factions agreed to form an interim government to prepare for national elections.

The reconciliation agreement ended rivalry between Hamas and Fatah, which in 2007 had led to the parties heading separate governments in Gaza and the West Bank respectively.

Fatah leader Hussam Khader said the interim government should be headed by Salam Fayyad, who has been the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank since 2007.

Fayyad should head the new government because of the success of his state-building plan, launched in 2009 and scheduled to be completed in August, Khader said.

Fayyad's plan, "Ending the Occupation, Establishing a State," has focused on building institutions necessary for statehood. It has received widespread support from the international community.

Khader said the program had improved the infrastructure of institutions and reduced administrative and financial corruption in the West Bank.

The Fatah official urged Hamas not to oppose the appointment of Fayyad, and said he hoped the Islamist movement would abandon the idea that the PA premier was "America's man."

Hamas would likely oppose Fayyad's appointment on the grounds of his government's oppression of the movement in the West Bank and the PA's security collaboration with Israel.

However, it would be a popular move with the international community, which has praised Fayyad's achievements as prime minister, particularly his handling of the PA's finances.

French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero recently noted Fayyad's accomplishments when he criticized Israel's refusal to transfer Palestinian tax revenue to the PA over its unity with Hamas.

"We consider that the current Palestinian government, under the leadership of Salam Fayyad, has presented all the necessary guarantees of transparency in public finances and good use of international aid," Valero said.

He added: "We expect that any future Palestinian government will maintain these guarantees."
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1 ) BIG MIKE / ANTI ZIONIST
10/05/2011 23:29
Salam Fayyad will weaken any new PA Government. He is a sell out to the zionist cause that's why zionists and US want him in.

2 ) BIG MIKE / ANTI ZIONIST
10/05/2011 23:36
Fatah leader Hussam Khader is also a traitor to the Palestinian people. anyone that sides with the will of zionist/US can not be in the best interest of the Pals. Hamas must take the reigns of the new PA government or there will be another 20 years of delays leaving the door open for more illigal settlement building by the zionist.

3 ) Paul / USA
11/05/2011 17:14
If the Palis want to prove Israel's God wrong, they would move to Jordan...
Ezekiel 38 and 39 tell us what is coming...do not be part of God's judgement.

4 ) Moll / UK
11/05/2011 17:41
Doesn't there have to be elections first? Or is this some new definition of how "democracy" works amongst nonstate tribal arabs? Well, we'll all watch and see how "democracy" ala arabia will look!

5 ) Geo8440 / USA
12/05/2011 02:17
I like Fayyad but I believe needs to go as PM. Let's get in fresh new and also capable faces.

6 ) BIG MIKE / ANTI ZIONIST
12/05/2011 19:24
5 ) Geo8440, GET RID OF ALL THE SELL OUTS OR FACE ANOTHER 20 years of feet dragging while Izrael builds builds builds.
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