Ma’an News Agency has learned from private sources that a suggestion is being studied by the various Palestinian factions to cancel the referendum ordered by presidential decree and instead choose a Palestinian national figure to head a new Palestinian government.
According to the sources, this suggestion was presented by an Egyptian delegation and was principally agreed upon by Abbas and many of the Hamas leadership. It is suggested that a national figure heads a government and a new technocrat government be formed of independent figures who will work on facilitating the internal issues and assigning a clear economic program which would permit international aid to reach the Palestinians.
Among the items of the suggestion, the source said that a Palestinian national figure should be chosen as prime minister with the agreement of all the factions. It was also recommended that the new government be formed from highly qualified people with no factional connections and, after being proven by the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), they start their job by running internal issues, including the contacts with the Israelis in terms of day-to-day issues.
The suggestion also says that the PLC will have total supervision over the government and Abbas should issue a decree in which he cancels the former decree calling the referendum. Also, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) would be in charge of the negotiations with the Israelis and any agreement reached with the Israelis would be submitted to a referendum.
Ma’an also learned that many Arab countries, including Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are trying to persuade the USA to agree to this suggestion after the European Union has agreed to it. Some Arab countries have advised Hamas to agree to this suggestion as a way out of the current Palestinian crisis and they have promised Hamas that if Hamas agrees to this plan, they will continue their support for the Palestinians.
Among the most likely names for the new prime minister is Muneeb Al Masri, a well-known economic figure who was behind an initiative for Palestinian dialogue that was never discussed as the Palestinians preferred to discuss the Prisoner’s Document.
Ma’an also learned that Hamas might agree on the suggestion as they would achieve some gains and benefits including the arrival of many of their leaders who are living abroad through the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.