Fatah and Hamas officials met in Gaza on Wednesday to finalize the details of the new Palestinian unity government, the Ma’an News Agency reported.
In the three hour meeting, described as a “positive” atmosphere, Hamas and Fatah leaders discussed proposed candidates to be part of the government as well as how to meet other goals by the five week imposed deadline.
Mousa Abu Marzouq, head negotiator for Hamas, said that talks would be finalized next week and the unity government formally established shortly afterwards.
Fatah official Fayez Abu Atiyeh said that the proposed candidates who would be part of the new government would be politically “impartial”. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri added that the new Palestinian cabinet is close to completion.
Hamas and Fatah are confident in completing their goals. Earlier in the day, Hamas leader and Gazan prime minister Ismail Haniyeh said, “Our mission is to make it succeed and mobilize our people behind its national goals.”
Speaking to members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza, Haniyeh added, “We will clean the road to reconciliation from all obstacles and landmines, and I hereby call on all our brothers in the West Bank to take the same path and to maintain freedoms.”
After seven years of bitter rivalry, the Fatah-led PLO and Hamas announced an agreement aimed at creating a united Palestinian government. With a deadline of five weeks, officials from both sides have been working overtime to establish a government described of “technocrats.”
Upon announcement of the new agreement, Israel suspended all peace talks with the Palestinians, saying that it would never negotiate with a government of terrorists nor a group that has vowed to wipe the Jewish state off the map.
The US has warned the Palestinian Authority that should it unite with Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, it would suspend millions of dollars of annual aid sent to the Palestinians. The European Union, in the meantime, announced that it supported the new government as long as it would renounce violence, uphold previous agreements, and recognize Israel.
Several Hamas officials have stated that the terrorist organization would never cede to Israel’s demands. Hamas’s political bureau deputy chief Moussa Abu Marzouk stated that Hamas would never agree to “recognizing the Zionist entity.”
On Israel’s 66th Independence Day, Hamas released a music video in honor of the day threatening Israel that it would be wiped off the map and all Jews would be pushed into the ocean. A Hamas supported children’s show was recently shown urging children to “kill all Jews.”