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Cablegate: Pm Fayyad and His Government Continue After End Of

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJM #1463 1971339
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161339Z JUL 07
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8369
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001463

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR NEA FRONT OFFICE. PLEASE PASS TO NSC WATERS/ABRAMS/SINGH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAL KWBG PGOV PREL PTER IS
SUBJECT: PM FAYYAD AND HIS GOVERNMENT CONTINUE AFTER END OF
EMERGENCY PERIOD

1. (SBU) Begin Summary. Following expiration of the 30-day
state of emergency declared on June 14, PA President Mahmud
Abbas (Abu Mazen) accepted PM Salam Fayyad's resignation and
then directed him to form a new government. Until a new
government receives a vote of confidence by the PLC -- which
is unlikely to muster a quorum in the foreseeable future --
the current cabinet (including three new ministers sworn in
on July 13) will continue to function. Acting PLC speaker
Ahmad Bahar (Hamas) called for a PLC session to be convened
on July 15, but the session was suspended for lack of a
67-member quorum. The PLO Central Council will meet in
Ramallah on July 18 and is expected to issue a statement
supporting President Abbas and PM Fayyad's government. End
Summary.

FAYYAD TO CONTINUE AS PM
------------------------

2. (SBU) According to PM Fayyad and sources in the
President's office, following expiration of the state of
emergency on July 13, President Abbas accepted PM Fayyad's
resignation and subsequently tasked him to form a new
government. Abu Mazen's legal advisors told ConGen political
specialist July 16 that the current government will continue
until the PLC is able to meet and issue a vote of confidence
for a new government. They note that a meeting of the PLC is
not likely to muster a quorum under current circumstances.
President's office contacts say that by accepting PM Fayyad's
resignation, Abu Mazen has agreed that PM Fayyad and the
current cabinet, including three new ministers sworn in on
July 13, will effectively continue to govern for the
foreseeable future until a resolution to the Palestinian
political crisis allows the PLC to convene.

HAMAS REACTION
--------------

3. (SBU) In response to Abbas' decree, Hamas spokesman
Fawzi Barhum called the Fayyad government "unlawful" and
added that only the national unity government (which was
headed by former PM Ismayil Haniyah) is legal. On July 15,
acting PLC speaker Ahmad Bahar (Hamas) called for a PLC
session to discuss the legality of Abbas' state of emergency
and presidential decrees, but just 30 minutes after he
announced the session, Bahar suspended it for lack of a
67-member quorum. The session was attended by just 26 Hamas
members in Gaza and another 5 in the West Bank (connected via
video conference). Bahar said that he will call for another
PLC session later this week. Hassan Khrayshah (independent),
the second deputy PLC speaker, stated that he will also call
for a PLC session this week.

PLO CENTRAL COUNCIL TO CONVENE
------------------------------

4. (SBU) The PLO CC is scheduled to convene in Ramallah on
July 18. PA contacts told ConGen political specialist that
five prominent PLO leaders, including Faruq al-Qaddumi,
Muhammad Jihad and Muhammad Ghnaym from Fatah, Nayif Hawatmah
from DFLP, and former Palestine Liberation Army (PLA)
commander Muhammad Afanah have received permission from
Israel to enter the West Bank to participate in the meeting.
Sources said that they expect the PLO CC will express support
for Abu Mazen and the Fayyad government, call for early PLC
and PNC elections, discuss revitalizing the PLO structure,
and address the issue of Fatah-Hamas dialogue.
WALLES

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