News Analysis: What's behind the delay in implementing reconciliation pact?

13:44, June 22, 2011      

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by Osama Radi, Emad Drimly

Although it has been already three weeks for signing the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation pact, rival Islamic Hamas movement and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party are still unable to overcome their differences and start the implementation of the deal.

One of the significant events that showed the large gap between the two rival groups was the postponement of Tuesday's meeting between Abbas and Hamas politburo Khaled Meshaal, which was scheduled to be held in Cairo to agree on the formation of the unity technocrat government they agreed to form.

Abbas and Meshaal signed the reconciliation agreement on May 4. The deal ends around four years of violence and division and calls for forming a unity government and prepares for holding the elections within one year.

Each side's insistence had postponed the implementation of the deal, where Palestinian observers believe that there are internal and external factors that still obstruct the implementation of the deal, mainly the nomination of the prime minister of the new government and the ministers in the cabinet.

President Abbas has officially announced that he wants Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the current caretaker government, to be the premier of the new government."

Sources close to Abbas said that he won't change his mind concerning the nomination of Fayyad "to avoid any more international isolation and more Israeli security measures that would influence the performance of the new government and block its diplomatic moves."

However, Yousef Rezqa, an aide to the deposed premier of Hamas government Ismail Haneya told Xinhua that Hamas movement has already made decision not to accept Fayyad at all to the new prime minister and not even a minister in the new government."

"Hamas insists that forming the government, nominating its premier and the ministers has to go through a national accordance among all the Palestinian representatives," said Rezqa. "We are not against Fayyad as a person, but we want to agree with Fatah on an alternative to Fayyad."

Meanwhile, Wasel Abu Yousef, member of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) revealed that undeclared intensive contacts are taking place between Fatah and Hamas to overcome the crisis of nominating the prime minister of the new government.

"The two movements agreed on forming the government as soon as possible and not to postpone it, but the slow measures to finalize the issue need to agree on serious solutions and finding clear mechanisms to settle the question of forming the government and turning the page of division," he said.

Hani al-Masri, a West Bank-based analyst told Xinhua that achieving real reconciliation is postponed because the United States opposes the reconciliation and Israel threats to stop transferring the taxes revenues dues.

Although the direct peace talks with Israel are suspended, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) insist that reaching a reconciliation with Hamas would push forward achieving peace with Israel, which said that the agreement would harm the peace process and undermines it.

Talal Oukal, a Gaza-based political analyst said that implementing the reconciliation agreement "is linked to finalizing a prisoners' swap deal between Hamas and Israel," adding "Egypt and Europe intensified their efforts to finalize the deal, which would help in forming the new unity government."

"To agree on the nomination of the prime minister of the new unity government would need to convince several regional and international sides and parts to accept it," said Oukal, adding " without their acceptance, the new government won't be formed and won't succeed in its mission."

Source: Xinhua
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