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US-Israeli pressure delay formation of Palestinian government

February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

A Palestinian source close to the reconciliation talks in Cairo has revealed the true reasons behind the postponement of the meeting that was set to be held Tuesday (June 21) between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Political Bureau Chief, Khaled Meshaal.

The Al Hadaf newspaper quoted a Palestinian source on Monday as saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Abbas and threatened to withdraw privileges from Abbas and his sons if the PA President met with Meshaal and form the reconciliation cabinet.

The newspaper added that Netanyahu threatened to withdraw VIP permits and tax revenues to the PA, as well as the privileges offered to the companies run by Abbas’ sons.

Abbas phoned the Egyptian intelligence body and informed it that the United States asked that Salam Fayyad be appointed Prime Minister of the reconciliation government, and that it would not accept any other Prime Minister – and would boycott the reconciliation government if anyone other than Fayyad headed it, according to Al Hadaf.

Al Hadaf also stated that Abbas told the Egyptian intelligence that US President Barack Obama’s office threatened that it would not allow Abbas to implement the reconciliation agreement and hinder Obama’s re-election for a second presidential term.

Abbas told the Egyptian intelligence that he “had not expected from Hamas to take such a difficult step [signing the reconciliation agreement] which put him in an embarrassing situation in front of the American President” and that Obama’s office told him not to implement the reconciliation agreement, according to Al Hadaf.

The source noted that Abbas’ political standing has plummeted and he is now seriously considering resigning from all the positions he currently holds.

“The President is now considering resigning after he has failed to implement any decision he made; and at the end of the day, he wants to protect his personal interests and his sons’ interests that will be harmed if the reconciliation agreement is implemented,” he said.