Senior Hamas official: New emergency cabinet aims to ''wage war'' on Palestinian resistance

Published October 7th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

A high-level leader of the Hamas movement accused Tuesday the newly-sworn in emergency Palestinian cabinet of aiming to "wage war" against the Palestinian resistance. 


"The creation of an emergency government and decreeing a state of emergency means that the Palestinian Authority has agreed to form a government, under American and Zionist pressure, whose sole goal is to wage war against the Palestinian people's legitimate resistance," Abdelaziz Rantissi said on his website. 


An emergency cabinet led by Ahmed Qurei, also known as Abu Ala, took office Tuesday after being sworn in by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.  


Meanwhile, former Palestinian information minister, Nabil Amr, told Al Bawaba that he expects Qurei’s incoming government to face the same obstacles that hindered the work of the outgoing government headed by Mahmoud Abbas. He also said “the US administration has not abolished the roadmap completely, but suggested that the plan is now suspended temporarily until the right time comes to resume work on its implementation.”  


The Palestinian legislator and former minister revealed that the Palestinian leadership could offer the Israeli people a new peace initiative. “Our goal now is to reach a comprehensive cease-fire [with Israel] with the help of the United States and if possible, the other Quartet members, along with the Arab countries that took part in Sharm al Sheikh Summit,” said Amr.  


Earlier, the Palestinian leadership announced that it was hoping to convince the Palestinian factions to agree on a new truce before it would offer the new peace initiative to the Israeli people. The factions include Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. Most of these factions complied with the previous three-month truce, which did not last more than 50 days due to Israel’s escalation of attacks on the Palestinians and the assassination of Intifada (uprising) activists.  


Amr went on to add that such an initiative by the Palestinian leadership confirms its genuineness in finding a way out of the deteriorating security crisis, and hence providing a suitable environment for the resumption of the political and diplomatic tracks.  


“I don’t think there will be a way out unless Israel accepts the PA’s initiative and the Americans, along with the rest of the Quartet, get more involved with it,” he added.  


The yet-to-be announced Palestinian peace initiative comes amid news reports that the American administration is planning to freeze the Middle East peace plan until the upcoming US presidential elections are over - at the end of next year. “Until then, the American administration will devote all efforts to the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Amr said.  


However, Amr noted “the deterioration in the current political environment was the reason behind the freezing of the ‘roadmap’, as it cannot be implemented while Israel carries out its daily assassinations and incursions into Palestinian lands. We still consider the ‘roadmap’ an achievable instrument to peace for the future; however…this also depends on Israel’s willingness to accept this plan again.”  


When asked about the obstacles that the new Palestinian government could face, he said “exactly the same obstacles the outgoing government had faced…such obstacles can hinder the efforts of any person who wants to form a Palestinian cabinet,” adding “these obstacles are due to the failures of the US administration in fulfilling its commitments lack a of forceful US pressure on Israel.”  


“The Israeli government has also gone too far in its daily aggressions against the Palestinian people that include assassinations, incursions, razing of houses, destruction of farms and their insistence on the constructing of an apartheid fence,” said the Palestinian former minister.  


Amr called for total support of Qurei’s incoming government, “The new government should be given a chance…and the Palestinian factions and people should support it with the hope that it may be able to find a way out of this catastrophic situation imposed on the us,” he said.  


For his part, the new Palestinian PM has formed an emergency cabinet composed of eight ministers. Representatives from several of the Palestinian factions and parties are expected to participate in the new cabinet including the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the People’s Party, Palestinian Democratic Union and the National Struggle Front.  


Officials from the Palestinian Authority (PA) have noted that the formation of an emergency cabinet has come amid serious developments in the region following the Israeli attack on Syria, the latest suicide bombing in Haifa as well as Palestinian concerns about a major Israeli response to the latter. Observers still believe that Israel may expel Arafat despite it announcing that such a move is no longer under consideration anymore. (

© 2003 Al Bawaba (

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