18 September 2009

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Egyptian Proposal

Prime Minister Haniyeh attended a protest at the refusal of West Bank leaders to allow the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Dweik who was recently released from a Zionist jail. Haniyeh stated that the Egyptian proposals are a good start and need to be built upon.
“The Egyptian proposal on Palestinian conciliation has the beginnings of a plan that could be built on, but needs more study,” Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Wednesday.

Haniyeh spoke at a sit-in protesting West Bank leaders’ decision to prevent Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Dweik from resuming his duties after being released from Israeli prison on 23 June following more than three years in detention.

Dweik, affiliated with Hamas, called for steps toward unity as soon as he was released. He was received in the West Bank by a milt-party delegation, and Fatah’s leader and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Dweik to congratulate him on his release.

Addressing the other sit-in participants, Haniyeh elaborated on his position vis-à-vis the Egyptian plan, saying “any presidential and Legislative elections should be preceded by national conciliation and an agreement on the environment and the atmosphere that should be created in the West Bank and Gaza.”

The reaction is similar to that of independent leaders and participants in the Cairo conciliation talks during its committees phase. The independents gathered and released a joint statement on the proposal, saying they hoped the Egyptian plan would be a last resort, and that conciliation could happen before the measures it proposed were implemented.

Further to his reaction to the Egyptian document, Haniyeh insisted that Dweik should be recognized as the PLC speaker “even if the situation lasts for several months” urging Dweik to continue with his work from home and office until overcoming the obstacles.”