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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Palestinian Authority : US Okays Hamas-Fatah Government

22/02/2009 | almanar

The Obama administration has given the Palestinian Authority a "green light" to talk to Hamas about forming a Palestinian unity government, a PA official in Ramallah said over the weekend, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The official said that Washington had also given Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak the go-ahead to resume his efforts to achieve reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.

"The new administration has a different policy than that of [former US president] George W. Bush," the official told The Jerusalem Post. "The administration of President Barack Obama believes that a Hamas-Fatah government is good for stability."

Cairo has issued invitations to representatives of Hamas, Fatah and several other Palestinian groups to attend reconciliation talks that are due to begin in Cairo on Wednesday.

Fatah and Hamas officials confirmed that the Egyptians had invited them to the talks.

Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri said that for the talks to succeed, the PA must first release all "political prisoners" from its West Bank jails. Abbas, who visited Cairo last week, reportedly told Mubarak that he's prepared to patch up his differences with Hamas. Fatah legislator Azam al-Ahmed, who has been participating in the talks with Hamas, said the results of the recent Israeli election, which saw the rise of right-wing parties, required the Palestinians to unite "in the face of the new challenges." He also expressed optimism regarding the prospects of ending the Hamas-Fatah power struggle. Another Fatah official, Ibrahim Abu al-Naja, said the fact that Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu has been tasked with forming the next government "proves that Israeli public opinion favors war and destruction." In the wake of the "dangerous developments in Israel, the Palestinians must unite their ranks by forming a unity government," Naja said.

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