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‘Abbas in Plea for World to Accept Palestinian Unity Government

The head of the Palestinian Authority is lobbying foreign governments not to reject a Palestinian unity government because Hamas is a part of it. Speaking in Stockholm on Tuesday, P.A. Chairman Mahmoud ‘Abbas issued his plea, apparently setting forth an argument that anticipates protests from international governments when Hamas fails to abide by the three conditions world leaders are demanding of it as a threshold for acceptance: recognition of Israel, an end to violence and an acceptance of commitments entered into by previous governments. The position ‘Abbas appears to be staking out is recognition of the difference between the unity government as a government and the factions that comprise that government. ‘Abbas argues that while factions might reject commitments, “the unity government must respect them.” The Palestinian factions are scheduled to meet in Cairo with Egyptian negotiators beginning on Thursday to hash out a rapprochement and agreement to form a unity government.