A Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) committee launched talks with Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Saturday with the objective of forming a new unity government, after Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the dysfunctional previous one earlier this month.
PLO Executive Committee member Hanna Amireh told the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency about the talks, and said that they were meant to include the two terrorist organizations in the new government.
The move comes despite the fact that Abbas told French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius last Sunday that Hamas should not be included in the new government.
Amireh said that if talks with Hamas fail, a government headed by an individual of Abbas's selection could be formed without the group.
The PA torpedoed the last round of peace talks by sealing a rapprochement deal with its rival Hamas last April, showing how its goals are aligned with the organization that has the genocide of all Jews written into its charter.
Hamas is for or against?
Hamas gave conditional approval of a new government formed by the PLO but including Hamas and Islamic Jihad members, according to Amireh on Saturday.
However, Hamas released a statement Friday saying the PLO "isn't the right body to form a government."
"In light of what has been circulated about the PLO’s Executive Committee tasking Azzam al-Ahmad with conducting consultations over the formation of a new government, Hamas calls upon all factions signatories of the Cairo agreement to start comprehensive dialogue," Hamas added.
Al-Ahmad, a senior official of Abbas's Fatah faction, has been tasked with heading the committee and given a week to hold the talks, although Amireh said a time extension will likely be required.
Hamas has sharply criticized Fatah's unilateral decision to cut short the government, although the outgoing unity government has yet to officially tender its resignation.
The unity agreement signed last April sought to end seven years of bad blood between Abbas's Fatah movement and Hamas, but the sides have continued to quarrel over many issues and have even seen a string of assassination attempts targeting officials on both sides.
A new government is likely to consist of a different structural arrangement, including leaders of various factions as opposed to technocrats.
The rivalry between the secular Arab nationalist Fatah and Islamist Hamas exploded in 2007, when the latter, having won a majority of the votes in 2006 elections which was Gaza's first, and last democratic poll, carried out a bloody and violent purge of Fatah officials and fighters in the coastal enclave.