Ahmad Yousef, political advisor to the Palestinian Prime Minister,
Ismail Haniyya, said that European countries have hinted that they
intend to lift the economic embargo on the Hamas-led Palestinian
government once a national unity government is established.
“European countries have promised to reconsider their position regarding the boycott of the Palestinian Authority”, Yousef stated, “After the war in Lebanon, Europe realized that it should present a more balanced position regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict”.
The statements of Yousef came during an interview with the Israeli online daily Haaretz.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Labor Minister, Mohammad Barghouthi, said during an interview with the Al Quds daily newspaper, that the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, received assurances from EU and Arab countries that they would cooperate with a national unity government headed by Ismail Haniyya.
Barghouthi added that if the International Community does not reconsider its position, and does not recognize a national unity government, the people will “have to reconsider their stance regarding the existence of the Palestinian Authority.”
Meanwhile, the United States said that it would not deal with the government unless its meets the three conditions set by the Quartet, USA, EU, United Nations and Russia, Haaretz reported. The three conditions are recognizing Israel, recognizing the previous peace deal, and “ending violence”.
The U.S State Department said that so far the Palestinian Authority is not complying with these conditions, but added that it has not yet seen all the details of the new government.
Meanwhile, Yousef said that the political platform of the government does not mention the recognition of Israel, but added that the government “granted Abbas with full legitimacy to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian people”.
“If Abbas can achieve a diplomatic solution, it will be presented to the government and the parliament, and they must authorize his proposal”, Yousef stated, “The Arab initiative and the previous UN resolutions will be part of the government's future political agenda”.
In 2002 Saudi Arabia, proposed the Arab Initiative which states that Arab countries would recognize Israel in return to its withdrawal from the occupied territories since 1967.
Yousef also said that the unity government intends to recognize the previous agreements with Israel as longs as this means that they serve the interest of the Palestinian people.
He also said that resistance would agree to a cease-fire if Israel halts its attacks.
Yousef added that after the boycott is lifted, official talks with the EU and Arab countries will be renewed, and pressure on Israel to change its policies will increase.
“The new government is a Palestinian government, not a Hamas government, in our opinion Abbas can meet the Israelis but a new diplomatic initiative is needed to change the current situation”, Yousef stated, “Our program will be broad, and will result in bigger support from Europe”.
Regarding a meeting between Haniyya and Olmert, Yousef said that if “the two Prime Ministers have to meet, “There is no Islamic prescription against this”, adding that Hamas can offer Israel a long term Hudna (truce) but not negotiations.
“After that the situation can be reconsidered”, he added.
Yousef called on Israel to release Palestinian detainees before the Islamic holiday of Ramadan, the holy month of Ramadan for the Muslims will most likely start on September 24.