Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New PM for PA; other News

Mohammed Shbeir is expected to become the new Prime Minister of a unity palestinian government. Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh's (Hamas) government began talks with opposition leader Mahmoud Abbas (Fatah) to create a unity government after his Hamas government was incapacitated by international sanctions. Hamas, which is listed as a terrorist group by the United States, Canada, the European Union, and other nations, has declared that any unity government will not recognize the right of Israel to exist as an independent country:

"The new government has not been asked to recognize the Zionist enemy," Radwan told Haaretz Tuesday, despite the fact that this is one of the conditions that the Quartet laid down for recognizing the Hamas government that is currently serving. The Quartet's other demands were that the government renounce violence and honor previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy chair of Hamas' political bureau, also said that the new government "has not been asked to recognize Israel, and therefore will not recognize it." Haaretz

"We reject the two-state solution, which is the vision of U.S. President George Bush, because it represents a clear recognition of Israel," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. "Our position in this regard remains unchanged. We reject joining in any government that recognizes Israel." Israel National News

The prospective leader, Shbeir, is an American-educated microbiologist (West Virginia University) from Gaza with no previous political background.

Haaretz, Al-Jazeera, Jerusalem Post, and BBC News have contributed to this story.

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