The Gaza Post | The News of Palestine – Ramallah
The agreement signed between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo under Egyptian auspices is “the bridge that will lead to an end to the division and to achieve reconciliation,” said member of Fatah’s Central Committee Hussein al-Sheikh.
The real test for the success in ending the Palestinian division is found in the full empowerment of the government of national reconciliation, which was not given an opportunity in the past to function in the Gaza Strip as in the West Bank, Sheikh said in an interview on Palestine TV aired on Monday night, expressing hope that this time it will succeed in its mission.
“There is no country in the world that accepts dual authority, decision-making, law and order and possession of weapons. This is unacceptable,” he said. “We are not militias to share power between us. We want a full and integrated system of authority with solid foundation.”
“We told Hamas full empowerment means handing over all the responsibilities to the reconciliation government starting with the crossings, tax collection and security. There cannot be an end to division without enabling the government to become the bridge toward reconciliation,” Sheikh added.
He stressed that the Palestinian Authority was committed to what was agreed upon in Cairo and that it will not pay any attention to statements from anywhere else.
“The President’s directives were clear: a positive approach towards reconciliation and no going back,” said the Fatah official who is also head of the Palestinian liaison office with Israel.
Sheikh pointed to a number of major strategic issues on the agenda of the talks, the most important of which is the handover of the crossings to the government on November 1, which is supposed to have a positive impact on the life of Gazans.
Another issue is security, he said, explaining that the key to empowering the government is security. “We want only one security establishment. We want to build one Palestinian security doctrine under the leadership of the Palestinian National Authority.”
Sheikh admitted that after 11 years of division, the road ahead will not be easy and therefore everyone needs to make an effort to make it work.
He said President Abbas signed today a decision to open recruitment in the Gaza Strip for the security services in an effort to rebuild it, stressing that no one should meddle with the security establishment, the defender of the national project.
He explained that the legal and administrative committee has three and a half months to rectify the status of Gaza employees in order to resolve this issue once and for all.
Sheikh made it clear that the issue of war and peace is a joint political decision, not a factional one, and therefore no political party has the right to decide on war and peace issues except the legitimate authority which upholds the law and possesses the weapons.
President Abbas also ordered Fatah Central Committee members to be present in Gaza on regular basis to help in reorganizing the Fatah movement in Gaza, Sheikh explained.