“Abu Mazen would be glad to give up the visit to the White House. He will be reprimanded there and warned that, if he forms a national unity government with Hamas, he will receive the same treatment from the United States as Ismail Haniya,” said a senior official from Abbas’s cabinet.

Yesterday, the U.S. administration summoned Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to Washington with the express intention of making it clear to him that it takes a dim view of forming a unity government with Hamas.

In a meeting with the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem, Abbas was told that, if he were to be part of such a government, the U.S. would give him the same treatment it gives Hamas. In a report about the meeting, it was revealed that Israel has conveyed messages to Washington stating that it expects the United States to make it clear to Chairman Abbas that there would be no compromise on the conditions being demanded from Hamas by the international community.

However, U.S. administration officials made it clear that, despite its objections, Washington would continue to maintain contact with Abu Mazen, for two reasons: First of all, if this door is also closed, it means that the U.S. and Israel have no channel of dialogue with the Palestinian Authority. The second reason: The U.S. needs to prove to Europe and the Arab states that efforts are being made to further the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, so that these states would join the U.S. in the coalition it is forming against Iran.

Palestinian Authority: No Impasse In Government Talks

Sources in the Palestinian Authority deny reports that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has frozen the talks on the establishment of a national unity government. They say the talks will be resumed when Abbas returns from his visit to the United States.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya also said the reports about the talks being frozen are groundless. Haniya said the talks were broken off because Abbas had to appear at the United Nations, and that the discussions will resume as soon as he returns. Haniya attacked the United States, saying that, according to the logic of the U.S. administration, “We will receive neither a state nor sovereignty.”

Two days ago, the spokesman of the Palestinian Authority announced that Mahmoud Abbas had frozen the national unity government talks. Fatah Spokesman Ahmed Abd el-Rahman also declared yesterday that Abbas had frozen the steps toward forming a unity government. According to Abd el-Rahman, the reason Abbas suspended the move lay in the “many negative declarations of some of the Hamas leadership, which had had a negative effect on the positions of international factors, mainly after the efforts of Abbas had succeeded in changing the atmosphere in the international community, and its attitudes to the new government.”

©The Bulletin 2006


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.