Creating people's geographies
Le Figaro/ AFP (in French) Wednesday 16 August 2006
The Palestinian Authority president and (Hamas Party) prime minister have brought up the idea of forming a joint Islamist-Fatah government. Tension remains acute in the Gaza Strip where two Palestinians were killed Wednesday.
Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh had not met since the month of June. Now they have. “We’re in the process of achieving solutions. One of them bears on the creation of a national unity government based on a ‘national entente’ document,” announced Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as he emerged from his interview with the Palestinian prime minister on Wednesday. And, he added, “We mentioned many subjects of interest for our people that require solutions.”
The “Prisoners’ Document” as a Foundation
For his part, Ismail Haniyeh confirmed that the discussions had begun over the formation of a national unity government “on the basis of the ‘prisoners’ document,’ and so as to strengthen national unity and lift the siege against our people.” The “prisoners’ document,” which was written by militant Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons, calls notably for the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
If the first prime minister from the Hamas party was hopeful that these consultations would be “fruitful” Wednesday, he nonetheless added some reservations to his support for a national unity government, demanding as a prerequisite the liberation of Hamas ministers and officials detained by the Israeli army since June 29, when the IDF effected an unprecedented dragnet, arresting about sixty officials from the Islamist movement, including several ministers and dozens of deputies.
No News of Foreign Journalists
Tension remains acute in the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinians aged 45 and 70 were killed Wednesday in an air-raid on Khan Younès. The Israeli army asserts that its planes targeted an “infrastructure intended for weapons stockpiling,” and that the residents had been warned in advance.
Some Palestinian security sources are also noting Israeli incursions at Beit Hannoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, where soldiers of the Hebrew state are supposed to have arrested seven people. Finally, there is still no news of the two journalists from the American Fox News channel – Steve Centanni, an American reporter, and Olaf Wiig, an independent cameraman from New Zealand – who were kidnapped by armed men in Gaza Monday.
At least 178 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have died in the operations launched last June 28 to recover an Israeli soldier captured three days earlier by armed groups. By holding out against the IDF for 34 days in Lebanon, it would seem that Hezbollah had in addition reinforced the partisans of armed resistance against Israel, to the detriment of the side preaching negotiation.