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No need to ‘continue focusing on Oct. 7’ - Palestinian prime minister says PA ready for unity government with Hamas

Egyptian FM says Hamas ‘outside the Palestinian consensus’

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh addresses the opening of the 37th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union at the African Union Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 17, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Stringer)

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told participants at the annual Munich Security Conference on Saturday that the PA government is ready to form a unity government with Hamas. 

Shtayyeh also said that Russia had invited all the Palestinian factions to a meeting in Moscow on Feb. 26. 

“Russia has invited all Palestinian factions, who will be meeting on the 26 of this month in Moscow. We will see if Hamas is ready to come to the ground with us,” Shtayyeh said at the conference. 

“We are ready to engage. If Hamas is not, then that’s a different story," stated Shtayyeh. We need Palestinian unity.”

The PA senior leader added that Hamas needs to meet certain prerequisites but did not provide more detail.

When asked about the Palestinian Authority cooperating with Hamas, Shtayyeh responded, “One should not continue focusing on October 7.” 

He also refused to answer a question about possible reforms to the PA being requested by the United States and several Arab nations. 

“It’s not about reform, it’s not about anything. It’s about Palestinians wanting an end to occupation,” he stated.

On Sunday morning, Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported that PA President Mahmoud Abbas would discuss a new Palestinian unity government with the Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. 

According to the article, the new government would be technocratic in nature, and led by Dr. Muhammad Mustafa, the head of the Palestinian Investment Fund

The report echoed claims that the PA is seeking a unity government with the Hamas terror organization.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry criticized Hamas during his remarks at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, saying the group was “outside Palestinian consensus” because it is “not ready to give up its support for violence.”  

Shoukry also said nations “must give an account of how Hamas gained power in the Gaza Strip, and why it received financial support to increase the division between it and the other peacekeeping Palestinian factions – whether these are the Palestinian Authority, the PLO or the Palestinian public itself.” 

However, Shoukry also criticized Israel for plans to begin a military operation in Rafah, on the border of Egypt, saying, “We do not need further escalation in the region.” 

The foreign minister also denied recent reports suggesting that Egypt is preparing for an influx of Palestinian refugees during such an incursion. 

“We are preparing for all scenarios, but this is not an encouragement for displacement, nor are we preparing a safe zone for Palestinians in Egypt,” Shoukry stated.  

The Sinai Foundation for Human Rights had posted on 𝕏 that Egypt was preparing a “high-security gated and isolated area near the borders with Gaza Strip, in preparation for the reception of Palestinian refugees in the case of the mass exodus of the citizens of Gaza Strip.” 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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