Fatah and Hamas to form new unity government as recognition for Palestine grows

  • By Hassan Ali

Palestine forms new unity government with elections soon to be held

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After the USA has been left out of international talks of late, yet again the US was not present nor part of peace talks in Russia which saw a new unity government formed in Palestine.

An agreement was reached after three days of talks in Moscow paving the way for the formation of a new National Council unity government in Palestine. This is the third major international peace process of late where it has been Russia to take the leading role instead of the USA, Iran and Turkey have recently been stepping up to over take the US in terms of global dominance of international relations.

The Fatah-dominated Palestinian government has agreed to form a unity government with rival party, Hamas, who largely operate only within Gaza.

The agreement was reached late last night (Tuesday 17th January 2017) after a three-day negotiation in the Russian capital, Moscow.

The two political parties will form a new National Council unity party, which will include Palestinians in exile. The new government plans hold elections shortly.

“Today the conditions for [such an initiative] are better than ever.” Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior Fatah official, said.

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Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party and Hamas have been at loggerheads since Hamas gained political control over Gaza after it won the 2006 legislative elections, which in 2007 almost resulted in a civil war.

Last year the Palestinian government postponed the first municipal polls in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in 10 years after the high court ruled they should be held only in the Fatah-run West Bank.

The last time the Palestinians staged elections in which both Hamas and Fatah took part was in 2006.

Palestinian representatives also met on Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, asking Russia to dissuade incoming US President Donald Trump from carrying out a campaign pledge to move the US-Israel embassy from Israeli occupied, Tel Aviv to Palestinian capital, Jerusalem. A move many in the international community see as highly provocative. On the 25th December 2016, the UN ruled in a land mark case that Israel was illegally occupying Palestine.

Since the UN recognition Palestine has opened international embassies including one in the Vatican.

The USA refused to vote in the UN resolution. The Vatican, a long time ally of Israel, sided with Palestine, opening a Palestinian embassy in January 2017.

“President Abbas may be looking to shore up his domestic position, and to insulate himself from what he sees maybe as a very hostile administration coming into Washingto.” Khaled Elgindy, a senior Brookings Institute fellow and former adviser on peace negotiations.

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