Hamas leader and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh urged Palestinians to “halt internal clashes” and renewed his call for a “national unity government” but President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fattah party quickly rejected the call as “vague.” Earlier talks seemed to have succeeded with Hamas agreeing to forsake the prime minister slot but the capture of Israeli soldiers by Hamas and Hezbollah and the subsequent invasion of Lebanon essentially trashed this understanding. With that understanding trashed, Hamas's exiled leader Khaled Meshaal insists that Hamas should hold the prime ministerial slot in the unity government--a position rejected by all.
Collapsing under the weight of international sanctions for not accepting or honoring previous agreements of the peace process, the Palestinian Authority has subsisted through handouts by Iran, Syria, and some Arab states. However, such handouts are not enough to keep the administration running.
Abbas met with Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last month who promised lifting of sanctions, freeing of political prisoners, and other political props to Abbas for his continued moderate stand. Abbas says that he does not care who runs the country as long as there the person is representative of national sentiments and will help in the lifting of the sanctions. Also, he said that “vague wording or conditions” will not cause him to waver from his position to organize early elections. While tensions, which caused the death of 30 Palestinians the last several weeks, may be abating as seen in the Fattah dominated worker’s union calling off their strike for non-payment of salaries, differences over Israel is so large that any reconciliation seems far-fetched.