Mon, 26 Jan 2009 07:31:15 GMT | PressTV
(L to R) Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Jordanian Foreign Minister Salah Eddin-Bashir, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, Fatah representative Riyad al-Malki, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, Brussels, Jan 25
The British, Swiss, and Egyptian foreign ministers also pointed to the importance of reconciliation between Palestinian factions.
“The reunification of the Palestinian people with a single voice to speak to them, to speak for the West Bank and for Gaza is absolutely essential," British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Abul Gheit also said that a Palestinian consensus government must be formed so that it 'could be capable of using the funds' pledged at next months Gaza donors reconstruction conference, implying that the aid will not be given to Hamas.
Based on various leaks, such as a report by the British International Institute for Strategic Studies, the US supplied $59 million worth of guns, ammunition and training to Palestinian Fatah activists to take on Hamas in the streets of Gaza and the West Bank, while encouraging its Arab allies to do the same.
Prior to Israel's deadly 23-day offensive in Gaza the democratically elected government of Hamas repeatedly called for reconciliatory talks with the rival faction Fatah, which is lead by Mahmoud Abbas.
The two factions fell out in June 2007 when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in an effort to prevent a coup against its elected government. In the West Bank, Abbas took control, dismissing the Hamas government and replacing it with the appointed administration of Salam Fayyad.
Hamas rejected the move and insisted that Haniyah remained the prime minister arguing that according to the constitution of the Palestinian National Authority if the president dissolves an elected government he must hold elections within a month for the next administration to gain legitimacy, which Abbas never did.
When Mahmoud Abbas' term ended on January 8, amid Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip, Hams announced that it no longer recognized him as the Palestinian Authority Chief.
According to Palestinian law, the parliament speaker succeeds to the presidency when the president's term ends and no new elections are held. In the absence of the speaker the position goes to his deputy. The current Palestinian Parliament Speaker Abdel Aziz Dweik is imprisoned in Israeli jails.
Both Dweik and Bahar are Hamas members.
EU support for Palestinian reconciliation, Mahmoud Abbas' authority and Arab-Israeli peace talks comes at a time when Hamas has called on Fatah to put an immediate end to its negotiations with Israel in protest to the massacre of 1300 Palestinians in the Gaza strip.