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Palestinian PM: We Can't Go on Without Practical Solutions for Security Issue

Palestinian PM: We Can't Go on Without Practical Solutions for Security Issue

Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 - 09:45
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah at the opening ceremony of the Palestinian Industries Exhibition 2017 (PM Hamdallah's Official Facebook Page)

In his first statement since the reconciliation, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah criticized the absence of solutions for the security issues in Gaza strip.

Hamdallah's statement contradicts with what both Hamas and Fatah are announcing about the developments achieved. He said that practical solutions must be devised for the security issue.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Palestinian Industries Exhibition 2017, the PM publicly condemned the absence of an agreement on the complicated security issue.

Hamdallah said that he had promised to inform the people about the latest developments concerning the reconciliation, adding that the government works on the issues accumulated over the years of division and treats them professionally, despite many obstacles the ministers are facing.

"We have taken responsibility for the crossings, and we have plans to facilitate the movement of our people. However, this cannot be fully achieved without practical solutions for the security issue," Hamdallah explained.

Although Hamdallah described taking responsibility for the crossing as a pivotal step, he considered it a theoretical move with no security forces being deployed. He said that legitimate security forces are not working in Gaza, hinting that no mechanism had been achieved since there is no agreement.

The PM confirmed that this issue had been postponed between Hamas and Fatah during the Cairo agreement.

"Therefore, we urge the factions which will meet in Cairo on November 21st to expedite a solution to the security issue," he stated.

Hamdallah reassured that it is unacceptable to take responsibility for the crossings without having full control over the security services, reiterating that: "the government will not be able to continue its work without perspicuous solutions for the security issue."

The security issue is one of the most difficult and complicated issues facing the Palestinian reconciliation. The authority wants to reorganize security forces in Gaza and that is why thousands of former members were offered retirement after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas opened recruitment in the strip.

Hamas has about 9,000 security men that it wants to be included in the new formation, which is currently rejected by the authority.

Controlling Gaza's security means a full control over the strip, which is why the authority is pushing for this matter and Hamas wants partnership in this issue.

In addition, the issue of the weapons of Palestinian factions is not expected to be discussed in any of Cairo's talks since Hamas, Jihad, and other factions refuse to handover their weapons or even discuss the matter.

Hamdallah admitted that the issue of security will not be easy, but said it should be resolved for the government to operate properly. He added that security must be established which will pave the way for more investments and projects.

Hamdallah's criticism is a pressure move to ensure that Palestinian factions will resolve the issue during the upcoming Cairo talks in Egypt on the 21st of Novemeber. The talks will be followed by a bilateral meeting between Hamas and Fatah at the beginning of December to evaluate the progress of the reconciliation.

So far, Hamas and Fatah movements have been avoiding to tackle the issue of security, but Fatah's official in Gaza Strip Ahmad Halas revealed that Egypt would oversee the reconstruction of security forces in the strip.

Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad stated that the reconciliation is going on smoothly adding that government's control of the crossings is 50 percent of the process to enable it to execute its duties in the strip. He added that a meeting will be held to discuss all issues of Cairo's 2005 agreement including the elections, government, civil freedoms, reconciliation, and integrating Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

Member of Hamas' Political Bureau Housam Badran described the atmosphere of the reconciliation as "positive", adding that his movement will continue after it had taken a strategic decision to end the division.

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