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Exclusive audio interview, conducted and transcribed by Saed Bannoura, IMEMC
Voiceover and edited by, Saed Bannoura & Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC
– Did the Palestinian factions reach an agreement on Cease fire?
I believe that restoring calm was one of the demands of the Palestinian factions and the Palestinian people, and was discussed more than one time. We had an agreement on this issue, but the Israeli side has been always escalating the situation, especially in the Gaza Strip which is facing continuous attacks. The issue of restoring calm is still on the table, I believe all factions can reach an agreement on restoring calm, but this requires a full Israeli commitment to all conditions needed for this calm. This means completely halting the assault in the Gaza Strip and the assassinations in the West Bank. What i can say so far is that a cease fire agreement has not been fully finalized yet.
– Do you think that Israel will agree to stop its invasions and attacks?
Israel will not agree to anything, it is continuing its invasions and attacks in an open way without the need for cause or reasons, and this is seen in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and in Lebanon. I think that Israel will continue its attacks in the Gaza Strip, especially after the defeat and inability of the Israeli army to achieve its goals in Lebanon. The army will try to cover its failure in Lebanon by continuing its attacks in the Gaza Strip.
– What is your position regarding talks on national unity government?
There has been an agreement between President Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya to hold talks on this issue, this means that there will be space for talks and negotiations between the Palestinian factions that are willing to participate. It is clear that this participation will be based on certain conditions, the most important issue is that this partnership of government should strengthen national unity and political partnership, and it should be the beginning of lifting the siege imposed on the Palestinian people. Of course these talks should depend on the national unity document as a political program that we can depend on.
– There are voices saying that most of the ministers are imprisoned by the occupation, and that there is a need to dissolve the government, there are others saying that Hamas, which enjoys a vast majority in the Legislative council, wants to maintain its majority and control the government, what are the conditions of negotiations set by Hamas?
No, no….the issue is not about power or majority, we came to this government to conduct reforms and to strengthen the basis of transparency, and justice, and I believe that our conduct in the past several months prove that clearly. But I believe there are several other considerations, such as the siege, international pressure and other issues. Basically, the idea of a National unity government was presented before we formed our government, but we were not successful in this, we could not reach an agreement with the factions, or the conditions were not suitable. I believe that the whole of Palestine is suffering from an economic, security and political crisis that will require the participation of all parties to be resolved, and this will be helpful.
– Lets talks about the abducted Israeli soldier, in your opinion what are the conditions of this soldier, is he alive, are there any talks regarding this issue?
We have no detailed information on this issue, but what i can say is that there are intensive efforts to solve this issue, especially by our Egyptian brothers, and I can confirm that, so far, there is no final position on this issue. I believe that the Israeli stubbornness in their refusal to negotiate the release of some Palestinian detainees is the reason behind the fact that this issue has not yet been resolved.
– Is there any information, or efforts being practiced now to know the fate of the two Fox News reporters?
Yes, there are continuous efforts, all security devices and the Interior Ministry are conducting utmost efforts in order to release the abducted reporters.
– Mr Ghazi Hamad, thank you very much, and thank you for your time.
Thank you, God be with you.