As Fatah supporters in the West Bank demonstrate against Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah prepares to swear-in a new Prime Minister. In Ramallah, hundreds of Fatah supporters targetted Hamas offices.
Hamas is insisting that it will not set up a separate Palestinian state in Gaza, despite it being sacked from government by Abbas. The president has named Salam Fayyad, a western-backed independent lawmaker, to serve as Prime Minister in a new government. The swearing in is expected later today.
The Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat spoke to reporters in Ramallah. “The challenges are big. The Gaza Strip has 1.5 million people whose needs must be provided for – electricity, water, medical supplies, food supplies – all their needs must be provided and nobody … Israel should not use this as a pretext….in Gaza in order to shut borders, Rafah, and so on. The people in Gaza have suffered enough and they cannot suffer more,” he said.