Palestinian government makes room for Hamas

Sunday, March 08, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad on Sunday confirmed his resignation in order to make room in the government for Hamas, which won the 2006 general election.

After Hamas seized control of Gaza following overall Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' refusal to let the terror group effectively govern, Abbas named Fayad as head of an alternative government based in Ramallah.

Knowing that Israel will not advanced the land-for-peace negotiations with only half of the Palestinian-controlled territories, Hamas and Abbas' Fatah have been conducting intense reconciliation negotiations.

One of Hamas' demands is that it be elevated to its rightful position as winner of the last legislative election, or at the very least that Abbas appoint an independent candidate acceptable to both parties as prime minister. Hence, Fayad's resignation.

But US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has for days been relaying messages to both Abbas and Hamas that Washington will only recognize a Palestinian unity government headed by Fayad.

Fayad is one of the very few Palestinian officials that Western leaders trust with financial aid and with genuinely reforming the Palestinian government.

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