PA Official: Palestinian Unity Government to Be Formed in 10 Days

Fatah official Nabil Sha'ath tells Ma'an news agency current PA PM Salam Fayyad still in running to be PM of interim Hamas-Fatah unity government; Sha'ath implores U.S. and EU to pressure Israel not to withhold PA tax funds.

Haaretz Service
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Haaretz Service

A top Palestinian official said on Tuesday that a new unity government between recently reconciled Hamas and Fatah will be formed in 10 days.

In an interview with Ma'an news agency, Fatah leader Nabil Shaath said that although the prime minister of a future interim unity government has yet to be announced, current PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is still in the running for the position.

Nabil Shaath Credit: AP

Fayyad has taken unprecedented steps in recent months toward Palestinian statehood, recently presenting proposal in Brussels delineating a three-year aid plan that would allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future.

Palestinian leaders plan to ask the United Nations General Assembly in September to recognize a Palestinian state in all the lands Israel occupied in 1967. Fayyad has made it clear that in the event that Israel and the Palestinians do not reach a negotiated settlement, a Palestinian state will be declared unilaterally.

Hamas and Fatah leaders signed a unity agreement last week in Cairo after a four-year-long rivalry following a civil war in 2007. The more moderate Fatah has been administering the West Bank, while militant Hamas has been ruling the Gaza Strip.

The two groups decided to reconcile in a bid to bring about the establishment of a Palestinian state, to be created in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel has opposed the unification, saying it will not negotiate with Hamas, who refuses to recognize Israel's legitimacy, and whose charter calls for Israel's destruction.

The Palestinian factions have agreed to create an interim unity government and prepare for national elections.

Shaath told Ma'an that the U.S. and EU are pressuring Israel to release the NIS 300 million in tax funds it has withheld following the signing of the deal, saying "we don't have financial reserves and the PA is in debt. It doesn't have the ability to remain stable for a month or two without reserves."

Israel has explained the withholding of funds, saying it refuses to let revenues flow to Hamas.

The international community has implored Israel to release the tax money to the Palestinians, with the EU announcing last week that it would send 85 million euros to the PA to cover the salaries of workers and help families who would suffer from the freeze.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Israel on Friday not to halt the transfer of the money to the PA, calling on Israel to "make decisive moves towards a historic agreement with the Palestinians".



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott