Monday, November 14, 2011

From UN stunt to "unity" stunt

I reported yesterday that Hamas was complaining that Mahmoud Abbas did not live up to his end of the "unity" agreement from last May and that they would not accept that Salam Fayyad stay prime minister.

Now that the Fatah-led (and Hamas-opposed) UN stunt has spectacularly failed, Abbas is ready to re-consider the unity stunt.

Anything to avoid real negotiations.

From Al Arabiya:
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signaled on Monday he is ready to step aside to help reconcile the two rival factions of the Palestinian national movement and pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections.

The departure of the U.S.-educated former World Bank economist, 59, would be a concession by President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the mainly secular Fatah movement which is dominant in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to his Islamist rivals Hamas, who control the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip.

Abbas will call in a speech on Wednesday for a government of independent experts to prepare for the elections, presidential adviser Nemir Hammad told Reuters.

This scenario was part of a reconciliation deal signed last April but never implemented. Elections were last held in 2006.

Abbas is also due to hold face-to-face talks in Cairo this month with his arch-rival, the exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal. One official said the meeting could bring reconciliation closer “should Abbas abandon his commitment to Fayyad” as his candidate to head the caretaker government.