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Abbas and Mesha'al Agree to Expedite Formulation of Transitional Government, Palestinians Celebrate Unity

April 5, 2011

Abbas, Mesha’al meet, agree to swift govt creation

Published today (updated) 05/05/2011 12:53 GAZA CITY (Ma'an) --

Hamas and Fat'h leaders agreed to accelerate efforts to form a transitional government, in their first private meeting since the signing of a unity deal in Cairo on Wednesday, which formally ended the split between the factions.

Member of Hamas Politburo Izzat Ar-Risheq told Ma'an on Wednesday night details of the meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader in exile Khaled Mesha’al.

Following the formation of a transitional government, the leaders said an agreement on a leadership framework would be reached, setting out the agenda for the new cabinet.

The agenda is nominally laid out in the Egyptian Unity Paper signed Wednesday, but the document mandates the approval of this agenda by the secretaries-general of all Palestinian political factions.

Third on the agenda was an agreement to release all of the political detainees in the West Bank.

The unity document requires the formation of a committee to review the cases of alleged political detainees, and ensure that no prisoner with criminal charges is released.

Al-Risheq said factions would meet this week to lay out the follow-up to the agreement.

In a recorded broadcast which aired Wednesday afternoon, one hour after a unity announcement was made in Cairo, leaders of Fatah and Hamas welcomed a reconciliation deal they said would pave the way to statehood.

"We fold forever the dark page of division," Abbas began his address, words echoed by Mesha’al moments later in his own speech.

Abbas said a government of "independent figures" would "soon see the light."

The president, leader of Fat'h and chairman of the PLO reaffirmed that the new government would renounce violence, but underscored his continued support for popular resistance activities against Israel's continued military and settler presence in the West Bank.

"The people are leading a struggle that is recognized by the world ... the people struggle against occupation, settler oppression, [and the] ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem," he said, labeling Israel's occupation of Palestinian areas "state terrorism."

Mesha’al, whose address was brief, praised the efforts of Egypt, and said he supported "elections at the first possible moment," but said that in order for the vote to be genuine, "first we must establish a real and normal atmosphere on the ground."

Bahar calls for swift formation of government of technocrats

[ 05/05/2011 - 11:07 AM ]


Scores of Palestinians raised Hamas and Fatah banners as they filled the streets of Gaza city celebrating the signing of unity deal on Wednesday that ended a national split that has haunted the Palestinians over the past four years.

They shouted demands for unity behind the Palestinian constants and implementation of the terms agreed upon in the deal, without repeating what was experienced in previous agreements.

Speaking at one of the marches, Dr. Ahmed Bahar, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, congratulated the Palestinians on the achievement.

He called on undersigners to act according to what was stipulated in the unity deal, also calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners and the swift formation of a new government of independent technocrats.

The senior lawmaker called on the United Nations and the Quartet to stand by the Palestinians in their quest for freedom without showing bias to Israel.

Concluding his speech, Bahar delivered a message directed at Israel, saying: ”We say to the Zionist occupation, openly before the world: our people are united, and Fatah, Hamas and all of the factions are united. This is the true response to all of the malicious statements against our people and our Palestinian unity.”

Celebrations Break Out Across Gaza And The West Bank As Palestinians Celebrate The Unity Deal

Thursday May 05, 2011 11:00 by Kevin Murphy - International Middle East Media Center

Celebrations have broken out across Gaza and the West Bank as Palestinians celebrate the unity deal between Fatah and Hamas. The deal ends a four year divide between the factions.

Ma'an news agency reports that in Gaza City around 300 people waving Palestinian flags gathered to mark the event. The Palestinian News Network has reported similar celebrations in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

In Ramallah Hamas officials have appeared on Palestinian TV for the first time in several years. In Gaza, the station began broadcasting again for the first time since a four year ban. Fatah flags, which had also been banned by the Hamas administration since the split, could also be seen among the celebrations in Gaza.

Al-Jazzera TV has shown interviews of families of the victims of the 2007 conflict between the factions, where 100 people died, welcoming the deal.

The unity deal came as a result of pressure from the Palestinian people inspired by the events unfolding across the Middle East.

The celebrations did not go off without incident however. Israeli soldiers attacked a non violent procession in Nabi Seleh near the West Bank town of Nablus.

Israeli Occupation Soldiers Attack Nabi Saleh Procession Celebrating Unity

Thursday May 05, 2011 03:44 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli occupation soldiers attacked on Wednesday a nonviolent procession in Nabi Saleh village, near the central West Bank city of Nablus, as dozens of residents marched in the streets celebrating the signing of the Palestinian unity agreement.

Soldiers fired gas bombs and rubber coated bullets at the protesters leading several residents to suffocate after inhaling gas.

After sunset, the army fired flares while several army vehicles that gathered at the entrance of the village.

During the procession, the residents chanted for national unity, and expressed their joy for Palestinian reconciliation while thanking Egypt for its important role in achieving this unity agreement.

They also chanted against the Israeli occupation and settlements, and demanding the removal of all Israeli settlements illegally built in the occupied territories.

On Tuesday evening, the army closed the iron gate that leads to the walled village, and deployed its troops in the area.

The National Resistance Movement in Nabi Saleh, welcomed the unity agreement between the Fat'h and Hamas movements, and dubbed it as a “historic event”, and a “victory for the Palestinian people”.

It demanded the Palestinian people and their factions to ensure the success of the deal as it protects the national interests of the Palestinian people.

The movement also welcomed the statements of president Mahmoud Abbas who said that the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian factions support the national popular resistance.

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