This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2776

New terrorist 'government' of non existent country formed -Hamas and Fatah claim moderation to bilk jihad funding from infidels

March 18, 2007

MIM:Hamas and Fatah have not only formed a government for a country which does not exist -the two terrorist groups are pretending to be moderates too! Even more priceless is that some members of the new terror "parliament" could not join in the jihadist jubilation because they were already in jail for attacks on Israel which they claim will now be the subject of "an expanded truce" which means more rockets being fired into Israel and suicide bombings then during the last truce.

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=420932007

Sun 18 Mar 2007

Hamas and Fatah coalition deal raises hopes of end to boycott

IBRAHIM BARZAK IN GAZA CITY

THE Palestinian parliament yesterday endorsed a Hamas-Fatah coalition, a step they hope will persuade the international community to end a crippling year-long boycott of their government.

After the 83-3 vote was announced, MPs jumped up for a standing ovation. The parliament has 132 members, but 41 are in Israeli detention.

Presenting the government's programme to parliament, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, of Hamas, said the coalition wants to set up a Palestinian state in the lands Israel occupied in the 1967 Mideast War. He said the Palestinians affirm the right to resist occupation, but will seek to expand a truce with Israel.

With its mixed messages, the platform fell short of international conditions for acceptance, including explicit recognition of Israel and renunciation of violence.

Israel reiterated yesterday that it will not deal with the new government, while a senior UN official signalled flexibility. "This is a significant step in the right direction," said the UN's Mideast envoy Alvaro de Soto, who attended the session. "We will be watching with interest to see how this programme is implemented."

Parliament met simultaneously in Gaza City and in Ramallah with a video link. Palestinian lawmakers cannot meet in one place because of Israeli travel bans. A vote was set for late afternoon.

The coalition replaces a government led by the Islamic militants Hamas, which carried out dozens of suicide bombings against Israel and won parliamentary elections last year. Hamas's ascent to power brought bruising international sanctions meant to pressure it to recognise Israel and accept past peace accords.

The new government "respects" previous international agreements reached by the PLO and calls for peace talks to be conducted by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a moderate. Any future deal could be submitted to a national referendum, suggesting that Hamas would not be given veto powers.

Haniyeh said the government wants to expand a cease-fire with Israel, yet also "affirms that resistance in all its means, including the popular resistance against occupation" is a Palestinian right.

Popular resistance is jargon for demonstrations and other non-violent protests. In his speech to parliament, Abbas said that the Palestinian people "reject violence in all its forms", and seek a comprehensive peace "based on negotiations".

Abbas said the Palestinians extend their hand to Israel "to achieve the peace of freedom and equality", and urge it to make a "mutual commitment... to stop all violence".

The two speeches underscored that even though the ideological gaps between Hamas and Fatah are narrowing, fundamental differences remain.

Brushing aside international misgivings about Fatah joining forces with Hamas, Abbas has said the coalition is the only way to avert a civil war in the West Bank and Gaza.

Haniyeh also addressed these misgivings in his speech, acknowledging the new government's path will be a difficult one. "The challenges are many, and so are the difficulties," he said. "All are waiting to see what the national unity government will offer; will it be up to the challenge."

Israeli officials have said they would try to persuade the world not to deal with the government. However, international reaction has been cautious.

Russia has been the most positive, saying the new Palestinian government has taken international demands "into account".

The British Foreign Office called the formation of a national unity government "a step in the right direction", but a spokesman stopped short of endorsing the new government's platform.

"We'll judge the new government on their actions," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government policy.

"We are willing to work with any government based on the Quartet principles."

The US was more subdued. White House spokesman Tony Snow, saying he did not want to express disappointment, indicated that there would be no change in the US administration's refusal to deal with the Palestinian government unless its platform changed.

"Our position has been consistent, which is you need a Palestinian government that is going to in fact abide by the Quartet conditions," Snow said.

As hundreds of police guarded the parliamentary venue, dozens of Palestinian journalists demonstrated in protest at the captivity of their Gaza-based BBC colleague Alan Johnston, a Briton seized by kidnappers last Monday.

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This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2776