Amid reports that President Abbas and Prime Minister Hannia will be meeting in Gaza today to discuss a national unity government, several prominent Palestinian politicians have spoke out on the conditions necessary for the implementation of such plans.


Calling on all factions to end the “confusion and politicking" that has been harmful to the   growth of a sense of  national purpose among Palestinians, the Secretary of the leftist Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), Bassam As Salhi, said Monday that the opportunity still remains for a national unity be created.

Salhi stressed that as a first priority, groups must come together in a common purpose.. However, he also said that the rules have significantly changed,. “We cannot continue negotiations the way they were before, based on the Road Map, but instead must create new Palestinian political behavior that takes into account the inability of the to play a positive role in the Middle East."

Salhi also told reporters that although a consensus had been reached in the National Accord Document, now the Palestinian government must take into account the Israeli arrests of many high government officials, including the Legislative Council Speaker Dr. Azziz Dweik, now ailing in hospital, presumably because of mistreatment following his arrest..

A spokesman for the Palestinian government Dr. Ghazi Hamad also stressed his view that a national unity government could not function as long as the Occupation continued. He said the the international community must work to end it and that it must demand the release of the Palestinian Legislative Council members and the ministers from detention centres.

Last week Prime Minister Ismail Hannia openly questioned the feasibility of continuing with the Palestinian Authority (PA). Since the capture of the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, by Hammas, The Popular Resistance Committees and a new group, The Islamic Army, Israel has imprisoned half the elected ministers and dozens of Palestinian Legislative Council members elected by the Palestinian people.

Dr. Ghazi Hamad said, "The declaration by the Prime Minister is an attempt to draw the international community’s attention to the suffering of the Palestinian people and their government, The matter requires international intervention, especially given that the legitimacy of the election of Hamas was confirmed by international observers."

He added, "Even if we change the government today and the circumstances remain as they are, how feasible is that? The problem is not in the make-up of the Palestinian government, but in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and its actions which aim to destroy any meaningful Palestinian effort to build an independent Palestinian state."