With the leftist Peoples Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Party announcing for the first time on Monday that they would consider the possibility of joining a Hamas-led Palestinian government, and the Fateh party leadership mulling the possibility of a coalition with their former rival Hamas, it appears that the Hamas party is set to do the impossible: unite the various Palestinian factions in a united front.
Even the radical Islamic resistance movement Islamic Jihad, whose military-wing leader was assassinated by Israel on Sunday, begrudgingly offered their support to the Hamas leadership. An Islamic Jihad spokesperson, Nafz Azzam, said Monday after meeting with Hamas that the party will not participate in a Hamas government, but will support it. Azzam continued, "The attitude of Jihad is clear and we cannot participate in the government. But our refusal does not prevent us from cooperating with Hamas, and we will cooperate with Hamas in all fields for the sake of protection of resistance and the protection of Palestinian interests. We are all in the same trench and we will be facing Israeli and international pressure together." He added, "The points of agreement in the meeting were more than the points of disagreement."
Meanwhile, the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) announced that it will tentatively participate in a Hamas run Palestinian Authority government.
PFLP representative Qais Al Ghoul met with Hamas PLC speaker Mahmoud Az Zahar in Gaza Monday. The meeting focused on political and social platforms for the upcoming government. During a discussion of prisoners, Zahar pledged to release all Palestinian political prisoners and vowed that no further political arrests will take place under Hamas leadership.
The political leaders also discussed security issues and the need for Palestinian unity.
Hamas spokesman, Salah Al Bardawil, described the meeting as friendly, practical, and successful. Bardawil said, "We listened to their ideas, and there were positive points that we agreed on."
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that his Fatah faction would be prepared under certain conditions to join the new Palestinian government headed by Hamas.
This is the first time since the January elections that Abbas has publicly declared that Fatah was considering to join the new government.
"Fatah has still not decided whether to be outside the government," said Abbas.
"The Fatah bloc in parliament will hold a dialogue on all subjects on the agenda with whomever is asked to assemble the government. If there is a mutual basis, Fatah will join the government for the sake of the Palestinian interest," Abbas said, but added that if Hamas forms the new government, it would have to change its positions.
"There are many commitments the Authority cannot back away from, and if it does so, it will forfeit international legitimacy," he said. "The brothers in Hamas know this. We cannot be a state and say that we are not committed to the international principles. The world will be against us. There is no avoiding Hamas voicing its views to the world and likewise hearing the world’s positions."