Palestinian prime minister on the ropes

It’s no secret that the Bush administration wants Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya – and Hamas, the party he leads – out of power. Last Friday, it almost got its wish: Haniya offered to resign if the international embargo of the Palestinian territories were lifted. But even if Haniya steps down, he’ll still call the ...

606113_Haniya5.jpg
606113_Haniya5.jpg

It's no secret that the Bush administration wants Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya - and Hamas, the party he leads - out of power. Last Friday, it almost got its wish: Haniya offered to resign if the international embargo of the Palestinian territories were lifted. But even if Haniya steps down, he'll still call the shots for Hamas, the government's ruling party. FP recently sat down with the prime minister to ask how he intends to fix the Palestinian economy, whether the factional fighting can be ended, and if he sees peace on the horizon. Here's an excerpt from this ForeignPolicy.com exclusive:

FP: How do you plan to rein in the rival security forces in order to prevent civil war?

IH: It is in Hamas's interests that Palestinian factions unite peacefully without disputes and internal conflict. The communications between Fatah and Hamas are continuous and have on several occasions reached an understanding to end all forms of internal violence.

It’s no secret that the Bush administration wants Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya – and Hamas, the party he leads – out of power. Last Friday, it almost got its wish: Haniya offered to resign if the international embargo of the Palestinian territories were lifted. But even if Haniya steps down, he’ll still call the shots for Hamas, the government’s ruling party. FP recently sat down with the prime minister to ask how he intends to fix the Palestinian economy, whether the factional fighting can be ended, and if he sees peace on the horizon. Here’s an excerpt from this ForeignPolicy.com exclusive:

FP: How do you plan to rein in the rival security forces in order to prevent civil war?

IH: It is in Hamas’s interests that Palestinian factions unite peacefully without disputes and internal conflict. The communications between Fatah and Hamas are continuous and have on several occasions reached an understanding to end all forms of internal violence.

It is quite clear that the Palestinian security apparatus is suffering from problems. But despite all the bitter conflicts that have occurred, we will not end up embroiled in civil war, because every Palestinian is interested in keeping the Palestinian front united.

Check out the full interview

Carolyn O'Hara is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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