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News Analysis: Palestinian unity gov't confronts serious challenges

English.news.cn   2014-06-03 01:14:17

GAZA, June 2 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian unity government was sworn in on Monday after a seven-year-long political division between the Fatah party and Islamic Hamas movement, but the interim authority will have to overcome an Israeli backlash, garner international recognition, and prep for general elections to be successful, analysts said.

Israel's recent announcement of its intention to boycott any Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas, which the Jewish state labels a terrorist organization, is one of the most serious challenges the new interim body faces.

The announcement prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to warn Israel that the new Palestinian unity government would not "stay cross-handed" if Israel tries any punitive measures against the budding interim authority, which vowed to react diplomatically and politically.

Sameeh Shbaib, a West Bank political analyst, says that Israel' s latest actions show it is acting like a state that is above international law, while underestimating Palestinian political influence.

"Israel only wants to keep security coordination with the Palestinians, and President Abbas has no problem with that when he said that security coordination with Israel is 'holy'," Shbaib said, adding "it is better for Israel to preview its positions and think carefully about any future measure."

International recognition by global world powers, not just Israel, is also a major issue for the unity government. The Gaza- based Hamas movement, which is now backing the unity government, has been branded by most in the international community as a " terrorist organization" for its refusal to recognize Israel and previous peace agreements as well as its calls for armed resistance.

President Abbas included Hamas and other factions in the unity government, but conditioned that the government will adopt his strategies to gain international recognition.

Talak Oukal, a Gaza-based political analyst, told Xinhua that the two sides were able to form a unity government soon after signing an agreement in Gaza on April 23 but waited until recently to observe the reactions from Israel and the international community.

"Within the last six weeks of consultations to form the unity government, the European Union position was clear that it backs the agreement and the formation of a unity government," Oukal said, adding "I believe that the United States will do the same as well as other Arab and regional states."

Observers also said that the new government has internal problems to address as well, including distributing the salaries of both Fatah and Hamas employees in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as preparing for elections and ending the blockade on Gaza.

George Jacqman, head of the Democratic Studies Institution in Ramallah, told Xinhua that obtaining funds for employees and covering the costs of the unity government are major issues amid the severe financial crisis the Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) is passing through.

"Preventing the Palestinian economy from more deterioration, reducing the rates of poverty and unemployment mainly in the Gaza Strip and gaining enough funds and donations from the international community will be heavy missions for the unity government," said Jacqman.

The newly formed unity government is the first ever joint Palestinian government to be formed after the seven years of internal division, which began after Hamas militias violently seized control of the Gaza Strip, rooting out President Abbas' security forces and cracking down on his Fatah Party.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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