RAMALLAH, West Bank: Palestinian unity is crucial to peace with Israel and the pact between the secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas movements must be given a chance, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Friday.
“I am satisfied that we are on the verge of the process of putting the country back together,” he told France 24 television in an interview.
Starting the process of reconciling the two rival factions, which fought a brief civil war in 2007 over the Gaza Strip, is “absolutely essential,” even if it was not achieved immediately, Fayyad added.
The reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, announced in Cairo at the end of April, came as a surprise after 18 months of Egyptian mediation, and was greeted with caution the West and by some skeptical Palestinians.
Hamas does not accept Israel’s right to exist, unlike Fatah which is trying to negotiate a “two-state” solution creating a state living in peace alongside Israel on West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, lands the Jewish state captured in the 1967 Middle East war.