Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert demanded that the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t agree to form a unity government with Hamas.Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert demanded that the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t agree to form a unity government with Hamas.
Olmert urged Abbas not to adhere to what he called pressure to form a unity government with Hamas that stops short of recognizing Israel.
Abbas is heading Fatah delegation for talks with Hamas in Makkah in the Kingdom of the Saudi Arabia in a bid to end the infighting between Fatah and Hamas and to form a National Unity Government.
Talks will start Wednesday during which the two parties will discuss the conflict that is hindering the formation of the unity government.
Spokesman of the Fatah bloc in the Palestinian Parliament Azzam Al-Ahmad, who is part of the delegation to Makkah, said recently that the talks aim to persuade Hamas to accept the political program of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which would involve an implicit Hamas recognition of Israel.
‘This won’t contradict the requirements for lifting the blockade. I’m sure once Hamas honors PLO agreements the Quartet will not be asking Hamas to recognize Israel any more,’ he said, referring to a committee formed to support the Middle East peace including the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia.
Local observers view Olmert’s comments as a serious obstacle in the efforts to lift the economic blockade imposed on the Palestinian people after Hamas formed the government in March 2006.
Palestinians hope that the talks in Makkah will end the infighting and lift the blockade that has caused a serious financial crisis in Palestine, as the Palestinian government depends on foreign aid and tax revenue to pay salaries of its employees. Israel has seized nearly 550 million dollars of tax revenue due to the Palestinian people. Last month Israel released 100 million dollars of the seized money.