Thursday, February 15, 2007

Those dark days may be back again

A couple of days ago we wrote about the delirious joy with which the accord, signed in Mecca, between Hamas and Fatah was greeted by the leaders and activists in Gaza. As our readers will recall we questioned the reason why those days of darkness, i.e. murderous struggle between the two groups, had descended on the Palestinian people but could find no answers.

Sadly, those days may be back again. Al-Jazeera reports that “Cracks appear in Palestinian unity”.

It seems that Mahmoud Abbas has postponed the speech he was going to make to the people before travelling to Gaza to meet the Prime Minister of the Hamas-led government, Ismail Haniya.

The idea was that today the Hamas-led government would resign and, in the fullness of time, a new unity government be formed. This has run into difficulties because of the conditions Hamas has laid down for their resignation.
Most problematic for Abbas is likely to be a Hamas demand that he approve the Executive Force, a 5,600-strong militia set up by Hamas last year despite the preisdent’s objections.

Hamas also wants Abbas to approve the appointment of dozens of Hamas loyalists to senior civil service positions, [Abbas aide Nimer] Hamad said. Abbas in the past refused to certify the appointments.

Hamas is also said to be asking Abbas commit to a candidate for the post of interior minister. Hamas proposed two names for the job, but Abbas has said he wants to review more applicants.
As all students of authoritarian and totalitarian states know, the position of interior minister is key to the survival of the system. No wonder they are fighting over it.


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