Speaking before the opening session of the Palestinian Parliament (West Bank branch) Saturday morning, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked the Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, now the majority party in Parliament, to form the next government as quickly as possible, and offered his help and cooperation.
Abbas declared that the Palestinian Authority, whose presidency falls under his jurisdiction, as well as the government, which will be led by Hamas, will continue to opt for negotiations with Israel as a strategic choice.
"Let us together make peace today, rather than tomorrow," Abbas said in his speech, "Let us live in two neighboring states."
He said the Hamas victory in last month’s parliament election – and the defeat of his Fatah Party – have led to a new political reality.
"Therefore, Hamas will be asked to form the new government," Abbas said. "On my part, you will find all the cooperation and encouragement you need, because our national interest is our first and final goal, and is above any individual faction."
Meanwhile, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that if Hamas’s government rejected Abbas’s peace policies, "it will be a violation of the constitution, and will lead to a major crisis."