The Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and the president Mahmood Abbas have met on the first of several days of talks in Gaza City to decide who will do what in the Palestinian administration. Haniyeh said they were pushing to put the final touches on the government.
Sources close to the talks say they’ve failed to agree on at least three main issues, the main one being who will be interior minister, in charge of the powerful security services. Haniyeh has been studying a list of twelve Hamas nominees for cabinet positions – seven from the West Bank, and five from Gaza.
Fatah has the right to propose eight cabinet ministers.
“Tonight the discussion was in general,” said Fatah spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh, “Tomorrow and after tomorrow, there will be the discussions concerning the names and the people who are going to join the cabinet. But what I can tell you that, there are no real problems, everybody is serious.”
President Abbas wants to ensure that, under the terms of the accord, the government will respect past Israeli-Palestinian peace deals, even though his coalition partner Hamas will not formally recognise Israel, and is constitutionally bound to its destruction.