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In Qatar, Abbas discusses forming new Palestinian gov’t

February 12, 2024 at 9:24 am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) meets with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (2nd R) in Doha, Qatar on February 11, 2024. [Palestinian Presidency – Anadolu Agency]

Informed sources revealed to the Saudi Asharq channel that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is preparing to form a new government to help manage the occupied Palestinian territories the day after the war on Gaza ends, the priority of which will be Gaza’s security and reconstruction.

The sources said that the new government will be a one of experts (technocrats), not a political government, and that the Chairman of the Board of the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF), Dr Mohammad Mustafa, has been nominated by the Palestinian president to head it.

The sources said that a team of experts prepared a plan for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, at the request of the president, and that the most prominent feature of this plan is the establishment of a reconstruction authority, operating under the supervision of the World Bank, and an international accounting firm.

The sources said that Abbas will present the idea of the government to the Hamas movement, through the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, during their meeting in Doha today.

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President Abbas’s visit to the Qatari capital, Doha, comes at the invitation of Sheikh Tamim, to discuss opportunities for Hamas to join the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and to explore extending the influence of the PA to the Gaza Strip after the end of the war. They also plan to discuss the reconstruction of Gaza, based on joint Palestinian-Palestinian understandings.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested to Abbas, in his penultimate visit, to begin preparing for the day after the war, and not to wait until the war ends. He proposed establishing a government more representative of the Palestinian people and developing a plan for reform and reconstruction.

Informed sources said that President Mahmoud Abbas briefed Blinken on the ongoing preparations to form the new government, the reconstruction plan, and another plan to reform the PA administrative, legal and financial systems. Abbas asked Washington to guarantee Israel’s release of Palestinian funds held by Tel Aviv, before it begins changes to the government.

Hamas officials told Asharq that they welcome cooperation with the PA regarding the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, but they must agree on each step, including the members of the government, the nature of the body that will supervise the reconstruction and its work system and references.

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