The efforts to form a national unity government continue to falter
despite the pressing need to overcome the current impasse. Before
traveling to the United States, President Mahmoud Abbas froze movement
on the issue. Blame is now flying in all directions as hopes of a
coalition government crumble.
Prime Minister Haniya of Hamas and President Abbas of Fateh had reached an agreement on forming the new government and the President was then tasked to market it to the Americans.
The US-led political and economic blockade sparked the major push to revamp the government as the American administration will not deal with Hamas at the helm regardless of the party’s democratic win in the elections.
Now that President Abbas is in the US it has become clear that its administration will not remove the blockade with Hamas having any role in the Palestinian government. The US requires that the Palestinian government abide by its specific rules, including following the mandates of the Quartet.
President Abbas also refused Prime Minister Haniya’s request yesterday to make changes in the Arab Initiative and the National Accord Document. Meetings with Hamas officials outside of Palestine have proven fruitful as far as the Abbas contingent is concerned, with the problem lying within local Hamas party officials.
Although it had seemed that the Fateh and Hamas parties had worked through their difficulties for the good of the Palestinian public, the entire issue has now reached a standstill. With President Abbas currently stopping movement on the unity government there is only one other option to please outside parties such as the United States; that is to for an emergency government. Fateh will be back at the helm and Hamas will be out.
The question now is whether President Abbas can fairly serve the will of the Palestinian people by ousting their democratic choice. The President may have US support to do it, but will he be able to bear the consequences of his choice in the Palestinian arena?