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Unity govt 'to be sworn in Monday'
Published Sunday 01/06/2014 (updated) 27/06/2014 11:14
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian unity government will be sworn in on Monday at 1 p.m. in the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, a PLO executive committee member said.

Wasel Abu Yusef told Ma’an that the president’s office sent invitations to PLO executive committee members and ministers to attend the ceremony.

Abu Yusef added that the obstacles that faced the unity government were overcome, as Hamas agreed that Riyadh al-Malki would stay on as foreign minister, and the issue on the ministry of detainees was resolved.

Hours earlier, a Hamas spokesperson said that no official agreement had been reached to announce the government of national unity, a day after Abbas said it would be formed by Monday.

Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that news reports about the possible announcement of the unity government this week were "unilateral," stressing that "there is still disagreement over some points that need to be addressed."

The Hamas spokesperson's statements highlight ongoing disputes in the effort to form the national reconciliation government that could potentially end seven years of political division between the two largest Palestinian political parties.

Abu Zuhri said that central to the ongoing disputes is that the Hamas movement continues to have strong reservations about Fatah's insistence on selecting al-Maliki as the minister of foreign affairs.

"Al-Maliki is undesirable from a nationalistic point of view as he used to have very negative stances, especially towards the Gaza Strip," Abu Zuhri said.

Abu Zuhri did, however, point to Hamas' willingness to compromise on the issue, saying that the agreement will move forward regardless and the government will be announced even if al-Maliki remains a cabinet minister.

Abu Zuhri also said that Hamas disagrees with Fatah's suggestion to eliminate the ministry of prisoners’ affairs.

"The prisoners' issue is a national cause which is not restricted to Hamas, and the calls to eliminate the ministry of prisoners' affairs came at the wrong time," he said.

Abu Zuhri highlighted that Hamas would invite all Palestinian parties to a meeting Monday to discuss the prisoners' issue.

An April 23 agreement between Hamas and the PLO paved the way for the formation of a government of national unity for the first time in seven years, but Israel has strongly opposed the deal on the basis that Hamas rejects its right to exist.

Abbas, however, has repeatedly pointed out that the national unity government will adhere to previous PA and PLO policies which recognize Israel.

Israel, in turn, has never recognized the Palestinians' right to exist, and has been reluctant in the past to negotiate with the PA because it did not represent all of the Palestinians, only those in the West Bank, since 2006.

The political division between Fatah and Hamas began in 2007, a year after Hamas won legislative elections across the Palestinian territories but was subjected to a boycott by Israel and Western countries that left the economy in a fragile state.

In that year, however, Hamas accused Fatah members in the Gaza Strip of engineering a coup to bring down the government, which led to street clashes and ended with Hamas control over the Gaza Strip and a Fatah-led government in the West Bank.
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1 ) Moving Forward / Palestine
01/06/2014 19:29
Unless Hamas [1] renounces "Armed Resistance" & Terrorism, and [2] promises to remove calls for "Israel's Destruction" from it's Charter, and [3] accepts Negotiations with Israel as the Only Route to Palestinian Statehood (which it almost certainly will Not, Not, & Not), this is * THE BEST NEWS EVER, since when a "Unity government is sworn in", * MOST WORLD GOVERNMENT WILL be sworn out, and * HALT FINANCIAL & POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR PALESTINE.

2 ) Harsh Realities / UNLESS
01/06/2014 19:46
* WORLD GOVERNMENTS SHOULD endorse the new Palestinian government, and simultaneously also inform the new government, that Unless it's new Hamas component does three things: - Renounces "Armed Resistance" & Terrorism, - Promises to remove calls for "Israel's Destruction" from it's Charter, and - Accepts Negotiations as the Route to Palestinian Statehood, they will * END ALL FINANCIAL & POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR PALESTINE.

3 ) Ilich Ramirez Sanchez / France
01/06/2014 20:12
All my hard work for nothing!

4 ) Let us hope the N EW / GOVERNMENT PROTECTS
01/06/2014 20:45
ISRAEL FROM ROCKEST FROM GAZA

5 ) Tibi / Tubas
01/06/2014 22:07
* THE NEW members of the unity GOVERNMENT may be sworn in, but: - a government that will Not be able to collect taxes from Israel, and - a government that will Not be able to beg for donations from the world, both due to having a significant number of Hamas terrorist members * WILL NOT LAST LONG, or achieve anything but poverty for the people.

6 ) Tibi / Tubas
02/06/2014 01:40
If Hamas ministers are part of the new unity government, then it will lose the international support & donations, which made the PA possible at all.

7 ) Joe / USA
02/06/2014 04:54
@5&6/ The Palestinians can have a unity government and it is not anybody's business to interfere or threat the PA of any action against them. Its their priveledge to form anything they wish and with anyone they choose. And as far as the money, it is Palestinian money not Israeli money. The collection of taxes for the Palestinians is part of the Oslo accord. And as far Hamas is concern, Kerry was dealing with the PA which represent all Palestinians including Hamas.

8 ) Palestinian / Free Palestine
02/06/2014 14:39
#7 Well said Joe/USA, I hope our President Abbas tells US Gov the same thing. No, no, & no to kneeling!!

9 ) Ilyas / Israel
03/06/2014 00:09
Shukran, shukran to all my brother who helped make this happen.. So proud and happy today.

10 ) Outlier / USA
01/07/2014 23:20
Should they have been sworn in or sworn at?
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