As originally published in the Philadelphia Bulletin
Hamas-Fatah Gov’t To Rule PA Lands
After less than two years in office, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced his resignation in light of the new Hamas/Fatah alignment talks that are to begin next week in Cairo.
Mr. Fayyad, who is not a Hamas or Fatah member, was the man whom the American government relied upon for financial accountability and for a future stable Palestinian entity that would not be tainted by the terrorism that has been the legacy of both Hamas and Fatah. Hamas is defined by the U.S. government as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO), and the military forces of the Fatah, known as the al-Aqsa Brigades, are also designated by the American government as a FTO.
Mr. Fayyad assumed office in June 2007 after Hamas staged its takeover in Gaza.
Palestinian Authority President and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas dismissed Ismail Haniyeh’s Hamas government that had been elected in January 2006 and announced the establishment of a new government, based in Ramallah, under Mr. Fayyad at that time.
As the man who assumed the role of Palestinian finance minister following the death of PLO founder Yasssir Arafat, Mr. Fayyad had been credited with initiating the first system of financial accountability into the Palestinian Authority, following years of corruption under Arafat leadership.
A mantra of American and Israeli foreign policy over the past two years was that the Palestinian Authority could be trusted because Mr. Fayyad was at the helm. Now that Mr. Fayyad’s accountability and moderation has been removed, Fatah and Hamas have come together in their war against Israel.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org