Fatah, Hamas set to agree on unity government.

PressTV –  Sun May 29, 2011 11:23PM

Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (R) shakes hands with senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath during their meeting in Gaza City May 29, 2011.
A top Fatah official says the party is determined to establish a unity government with rival group Hamas despite the criticism by Israelis and the United States.

The senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath made the remark following his meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza against the backdrop of ongoing talks between Fatah and Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) to agree on the make-up of a unity government, AFP reported on Sunday.

The two Palestinian rival groups Hamas and Fatah are expected to agree the composition of a transitional government of independents by June 6, and the two will stand united against Israel as Tel Aviv has no intention of making peace, Shaath said at a news conference after the meeting.

Asked about the potential ministers in the new government, the senior Fatah official replied that it’s not his role to talk about the candidates, adding that a joint committee was studying potential ministers.

“There will be agreement between the parties on all the names by June 6,” he noted.

Palestinian factions signed a deal to establish a unity government in early May in Cairo and agreed to form an interim government of technocrats and non-partisan figures to prepare for national elections within a year.

The Fatah movement came under severe attack in the wake of signing the unity deal with Hamas. The US threatened to cut aid to the party and Israel said Fatah must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas.

Meanwhile, Shaath stated that both Fatah and Hamas are seeking to enhance the recognition of the upcoming unity government regardless of mounting pressure from Israelis and Americans.

Under the unity agreement, the parties also agreed to release all Palestinian prisoners from the West Bank and Gaza within a year.

The senior Fatah official also turned the spotlight on the thorny issue of political prisoners, saying that he expected that the two groups would close the political arrests “file” soon as “There is full agreement on that.”

“The number of prisoners remaining in detention has shrunk and the file will be closed in upcoming days in accordance with the (unity) agreement,” Shaath said.



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