Palestinian National Unity Government of March 2007

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The Palestinian National Unity Government of March 2007 (Arabic: المجلس الفلسطيني لآذار 17 2007‎‎) was a Palestinian Authority unity government from March to June 2007, headed by Ismail Haniyeh, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority.[1]

The Unity Government was formed on 17 March 2007 following negotiations in Mecca, but due to failing international support because it did not meet the Quartet conditions, it was short-living. Israel immediately rejected the Government and said it will deal with Abbas, but not with the new government unless it recognizes the Jewish state. Israeli officials said they would try to persuade the world not to deal with the government.[1]

After a Fatah–Hamas battle, the Government was dissolved by President Mahmoud Abbas on 14 June 2007.

Background[edit]

After the 2006 elections which Hamas won, Fatah developed a plan to replace the Hamas-government. According to the plan, a national unity government or a "government of technocrats" would be formed and prepare early presidential and legislative elections. If the establishment of a government meeting the Quartet conditions would fail, President Abbas would announce a state of emergency, dismiss the present cabinet and form an emergency government, or call for early elections.[2][3] The plan was, for the time being, not carried out in full, as indeed a "unity government" was formed in March 2007.

Timeline[edit]

On 25 January 2006, Hamas won the parliamentary elections. Israel, the United States, the European Union and several Western states then imposed sanctions suspending all foreign aid, upon which Palestinians depend.

In March 2006, the previous Government was installed.

On 8 February 2007, negotiations in Mecca brokered by Saudi Arabia produced the Fatah–Hamas Mecca Agreement, an agreement to form a Palestinian national unity government.[4] The agreement was signed by Mahmoud Abbas on behalf of Fatah and by Khaled Mashal on behalf of Hamas.[5] The agreement also contained a "letter of commission" from Abbas to Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, calling on Haniyeh as premier of the next government to achieve Palestinian national goals as approved by the Palestine National Council, the clauses of the Basic Law and the National Reconciliation Document (the Prisoners' Document) as well as the decisions of the Arab summit.[4]

On 17 March, Ismail Haniyeh presented his new national unity government before the Palestinian Legislative Council.[6] The Parliament approved the government, with 83 representatives voting in favor and three against. The 25 ministers were sworn in by President Mahmoud Abbas at the ceremony, which was held simultaneously in Gaza and Ramallah.[1][7] The program of the national unity government included ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and recognizing the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, and the establishment of the independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty within the 1967 borders, with al-Quds as its capital,[1] implementation of the Cairo Agreement pertaining to the PLO, and commitment to the Palestinian right of return.[6] Israel rejected the new government, while Norway recognized it and other countries reacted with reserve. On that moment, 41 of 132 Members of Parliament, nearly a third of the PLC, were in Israeli detention.[1]

After fierce battles between Fatah and Hamas on 10 to 14 June 2007, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip during the Battle of Gaza.[8][9] On 14 June, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared the state of emergency by Presidential decree, and dismissed Haniyeh's 2007 National Unity G. He appointed an emergency government and suspended articles of the Basic Law, to circumvent the needed parliamental approval.[10][11][12][13]

Following the takeover of the Gaza Strip, Egypt and Israel largely sealed their border crossings with Gaza, ostensibly because Fatah had fled and was no longer providing security on the Palestinian side.[14] Egypt assisted in the blockade, allegedly because it feared a spill-over of Hamas-style militancy into their territory.[15]

Members of the Government[edit]

March to June 2007 [7]

Minister Office Party
1 Ismail Hanieh Prime Minister Hamas
2 Azzam al-Ahmad Deputy Prime Minister Fatah
3 Salam Fayyad Finance Minister Third Way
4 Ziad Abu Amr Foreign Affairs Minister Independent
5 Talab al-Qawasmi Interior Minister Independent
6 Nasser Eddin al-Sha'er Education Minister Hamas
7 Mustafa al-Barghouthi Information Palestinian National Initiative
8 Bassam al-Salhi Culture Palestinian People's Party
9 Radwan al-Akhras Health Fatah
10 Sa'di al-Krunz Transport Fatah
11 Mahmoud Aloul Labour Fatah
12 Saleh Zeidan Social Affairs Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
13 Taysir Abu Sneineh Prisoners' Affairs Fatah
14 Samir Abu Eisheh Planning Hamas
15 Mohammed al-Barghouthi Local Government Hamas
16 Ziad al-Thatha Economic Affairs Hamas
17 Basem Naim Youth and Sports Hamas
18 Yousef al-Mansi Telecommunications and Information Technology Hamas
19 Mohammed al-Agha Agriculture Hamas
20 Khouloud D'eibes Tourism Independent
21 Samih al-Abed Public Works Fatah
22 Ali al-Sartawi Justice Hamas
23 Hussein Tartouri Waqf and Religious Affairs Hamas
24 Amal Syam Woman Affairs Hamas
25 Wasfi Kabha State Hamas

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Palestinians OK Unity Govt. Arab News, 18 March 2007
  2. ^ Palestinian Vision for Resolving the Current PA Crisis (Draft #6). The Palestine Papers, 30 October 2006. On [1]
  3. ^ The Arab-Israeli Conflict: To Reach a Lasting Peace, pp. 3-4. Crisis Group Middle East Report N°58, 5 October 2006. Source
  4. ^ a b Middle East Report No. 62: After Mecca: Engaging Hamas, International Crisis Group (February 26, 2007).
  5. ^ Palestinian rivals sign power-sharing deal, Associated Press (February 8, 2007).
  6. ^ a b PM Hanieh Speech before the PLC March 17, 2007. JMCC. Archived on 4 October 2009
  7. ^ a b The PA Ministerial Cabinet List—The National Unity Government March 2007. JMCC. Archived on 4 October 2009
  8. ^ Haaretz/Associated Press, 10 June 2007, Palestinian gunmen target Haniyeh's home in Gaza. On web.archive.org
  9. ^ Guardian, 15 June 2007, Hamas takes control of Gaza
  10. ^ Presidential Decrees Issued on June - July 2007. JMCC, archived on 12 October 2007
  11. ^ "Abbas Dissolves Palestinian Authority Government in Wake of Hamas-Fatah War". Fox News. 14 June 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2007. 
  12. ^ Levinson, Charles; Matthew Moore (14 June 2007). "Abbas declares state of emergency in Gaza". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 14 June 2007. 
  13. ^ "Abbas sacks Hamas-led government". BBC News. 14 June 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2007. 
  14. ^ Olmert aide supports free Gaza. By Dion Nissenbaum. McClatchy Newspapers. Published 8 December 2008
  15. ^ Palestinians flood into Egypt after blowing up border wall, The Guardian, 23 January 2008.