Palestinian Factions Welcome Fateh-Hamas Draft Unity Deal
Thursday April 28, 2011 02:39 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
Palestinian factions welcomed on Wednesday a draft unity deal that was signed in Cairo on Wednesday between the rival Fateh and Hamas movements, and expressed hopes that the four years of internal conflict will come to an end.
Cairo will be asking the Palestinian factions to sign the final deal next week.
The new interim government will be appointed by consensus, and will be in charge of preparing for general and presidential elections.
Khaled Al Batsh of the Islamic Jihad stated that his movement welcomes this important development, and called for a fast and actual implementation.
Al Batsh also called for ending the file of political arrests in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and added that protecting the resistance, the national interests and boosting Palestinian steadfastness are top priorities.
He said that guarantees must be provided to ensure actual implementation, and stressed on the importance of a unified Arab-Palestinian stance regarding Palestinian independence, the Right of Return of the refugees, and Jerusalem, the capital of the anticipated state.
Al Batsh further stated that Egypt will invite the Palestinian factions to hold consultation talks for two days in order to agree on an interim government tasked with starting preparations for general elections that would be held within a year. Political leaders and independent figures will be invited.
Deputy head of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Dr. Ahmad Bahar of Hamas, welcomed that deal and described it as historic. He also thanked Egypt for its important role in hosting and moderating Palestinian unity talks.
Dr. Mahmoud Zahhar of Hamas stated that an agreement was made to appoint 12 judges as members of the Elections Court, adding that this agreement will be presented to Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, for approval.
He said that consecutive legislative and presidential elections will be held within a year after signing the final deal.
Zahhar further stated agreements were reached on most of the main issues that obstructed reconciliation.
The Hamas leader added that an agreement was reached to reform the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in order to restructure it to include all factions.
Hamas leader, Prime Minister of the Hamas-led government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyya, also welcomed the deal and stated that the movement has always supported unity efforts and is interested in a solid deal that protects the national Palestinian interests.
Dr. Abdul-Aziz Shiqaqi, head of the coalition of independent figures in the Gaza Strip, told the Maan News Agency that this deal is a new grounds and a new phase of reconciliation.
Al Shiqaqi called on all factions to support unity efforts, and thanked Egypt for its important role.
Khalil Assaf, representative of Independent Figures in the West Bank, stated that this deal is the best and most important event for the Palestinians this year.
Assaf told the Maan News Agency that unity is the wish that every Palestinian carried for many years, and called for actual implementation of the deal.
Azzam Al Ahmad, head of the Fateh parliamentary bloc, the second largest bloc after Hamas, said that a technocrat interim government will be announced, and that this government will represent the Palestinian people.
The Palestinian People Party (PPP) also welcomed the deal and called for implementing all what have been agreed upon during previous rounds of talks.
The PPP also called for diplomatic moves to gather international support for the recognition of a Palestinian State, with Jerusalem as its capital.