MidEast

Two PLO Factions Say They Will Not Join New Palestinian Government

The makeup of any future Palestinian government remains uncertain, as two factions of the PLO said they would not be part of a governing coalition that “solidifies divisions” among the Palestinians, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah that was submitted earlier this week and is seeking to form a new government made up of representatives from factions of the PLO and independent political figures.

However, spokesmen for both the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) said that the two factions would not participate in any government formed unilaterally by Abbas. Both the PFLP and DFLP reject the Oslo Accords, the basis for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Miriam Abu Dakka, described as a senior PFLP official, said that it was the entire PLO, not just Fatah — the largest faction — that is authorized to determine any future Palestinian governments.

“Fatah is one of the factions of the PLO, and as such it is not entitled to take a decision alone,” Abu Dakkah said. “The PFLP will not participate in a government that solidifies the division. Our goal is to end the division and thwart the deal of the century.”

“Why form a factional and partial government now?” DFLP official Ramzi Rabah asked. “We want a national unity government that would end divisions among our people.”

Palestinian political analysts characterize the resignation of Hamdallah and Abbas’s quest to form a new government as part of a ploy for Fatah to have a greater role in the PA. Even though Fatah is the largest political party, many in the faction do not believe that they have been well-represented in the Hamdallah government.

“Fatah wants to be in control of the government,” one Ramallah-based analyst told the Post. “Many Fatah leaders feel that the Hamdallah government has marginalized them.”

By pushing for a new government, those in Fatah may be looking to sideline Hamdallah. The prime minister, who will remain in power until a new government is in place, is affiliated with Fatah but holds no official position with the group. Leaving his role as prime minister could hurt Hamdallah’s standing as a possible successor to the 83-year-old Abbas.

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