Palestinian sources close to president Mahmoud Abbas expressed on Monday at night optimism over the Tuesday scheduled meeting in Mecca between the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Hamas political bureau chief, Khalid Mashal. The meeting will be held under the patronage of Saudi Arabia which had been conducting extensive efforts to end the internal clashes between Fateh and Hamas and to hold the factions achieve a unity government deal.
Leaders of Hamas and Fateh voiced positive statements regarding the Mecca meeting and said that it will most likely result in a final agreement on a national unity government.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that both Hamas and Fateh agreed that Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, from the Hamas party, would remain in his post and Dr. Salam Fayyad would be the deputy prime minister and the minister of finance.
According to Haaretz, Ziad Abu Amr, will become the foreign minister, while the interior minister post, which is one of the most sensitive posts, will be chosen by Abbas from a list of candidates submitted by Hamas.
Unity government will also have three senior independent ministers, nine Hamas ministers in addition to Haniyya, six Fateh ministers; three other independent ministers and four ministers will represent smaller factions.
Last night, the Fateh delegation left for Saudi Arabia. Headed by Abbas, the Fateh delegation includes Mohammad Dahlan who is strongly rejected by Hamas, but Saudi Arabia said that it will not interfere in the makeup of the Fateh delegation, Haaretz said.
Fateh and Hamas talks in Saudi Arabia will last for two days, and the meetings will be off-limits to the press.
Meanwhile, Israel barred on Monday at night the Palestinian vice prime minister and minister of education, Dr. Nasser Ed-Deen Al Sha’er, and Dr. Samir Abu Aisha, minister of planning and the acting minister of education, from traveling to Mecca to participate in the meetings.
The two ministers, from the Hamas party, were held for several hours at the border terminal leading to Jordan, and were barred from traveling.