Palestinian Unity Government Runs into Obstacles

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Differences between Fatah and Hamas may delay the formation of a Palestinian unity government. The unity government was expected to be announced on Thursday it has been delayed to Monday.   There seems to be three major issues that Fatah and Hamas  have not agreed on.


The sources told the Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper that one of the obstacles hindering the formation of the unity government is related to the status of the Palestinian security forces.  Hamas has rejected the idea of permitting Fatah-dominated security forces to return to the Gaza Strip, they said.

The second obstacle centers on PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Habbash.Abbas insists on keeping Habbash in his job, while Hamas says it won’t sit in any government with him.
Habbash is a former Hamas representative who defected from the organization several years ago and has since been an outspoken critic of the Islamist movement.

The sources said that the third obstacle preventing the establishment of a unity government is related to Hamas’s demand that 40,000 of its supporters be placed on the PA’s payroll. Abbas, the sources said, is opposed to this demand because it would hurt the PA budget, which is already facing a severe deficit.

Fatah and Hamas have also failed to reach agreement over the identity of the PA foreign minister. The sources said that Hamas remains opposed to keeping current foreign minister Riad al-Malki in his job.JPost


Online:  JPost Formation of Palestinian unity government runs into obstacles
Yahoo News:  Palestinian unity government to be unveiled Monday: Abbas


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