Former Palestinian Authority PM under fire for reconciliation plan

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has criticized the PA’s former prime minister, Salam Fayyad, over a plan he presented to end the split between the rival Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas.

Fayyad on Tuesday unveiled his plan aimed at breaking the political stalemate in the Palestinian Authority and also coming up with a way to end Israeli control of Judea and Samaria, the report said.

The former prime minister’s plan includes an interim deal bringing together all the Palestinian factions, under which a new Palestinian leadership would be formed from representatives of all factions.

He also suggested the Palestinian factions would commit to a prolonged ceasefire with Israel.

After Fayyad presented his plan to a group of Palestinian officials and academics, the official Palestinian Authority news agency criticized him and described his plan as a “failed attempt to destroy decades of Palestinian struggle.”

The Wafa news agency ran an editorial attacking the plan, saying that entering a diplomatic process with the Israelis under a ceasefire agreement was against the position of the Palestinian leadership, which rejects agreeing to the establishment of a Palestinian state on temporary borders and instead seeks a direct move to a full and permanent agreement. A deal based on temporary borders would amount to giving up Jerusalem, which would lead to its “Judaization.”

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, which respectively govern Judea-Samaria and Gaza Strip, reportedly met in Qatar last month for reconciliation talks.

A senior official, Fatah Central Committee member Mohammed Ashtiya, said that the reconciliation talks had started in February in Doha, Qatar, where some of Hamas’ leadership is based.

The Palestine Liberation Organization guidelines would be the basis for the functioning of the unity government, according to the report.

The planned meeting is the latest round in an ongoing series of attempts to reconcile the two factions since after they clashed violently in 2007 in the wake of Hamas’s election victory in Gaza.