Palestinian Govt in Ramallah “sole legitimate” leadership – PM


London : Newly-named Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, called in remarks published on Monday on the Islamic movement Hamas to refrain from maintaining control on the Gaza Strip and recognise the West Bank-based governmnet as the sole legitimate leadership for the people.

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Fayyad, interviewed by the London-based Arabic-language daily newspaper, "Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat," said Hamas "must stop claiming itself as the legitimate leadership" and accept measures that have been taken by President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Islamic movement, he said, should accept the emergency measures, declared by the president, "intended to restore stability to the territories and tackle the extraordinary conditions.

"These are basic principles … we act like the mother of the child in the sense that we are legitimate and we compel the civil servants to show up at work regularly."

Fayyad was named as the head of an emergency cabinet after Hamas took over the strip following bitter fighting against the other mainstream Palestinian movement, Fatah.

On destiny of his cabinet, serving on temporary basis, he indicated that the president, according to the constitution, should call for electing a new cabinet by the parliament in 30 days, but hinted that Abbas might be compelled to extend the task of the government for a much longer period of time, in case Hamas showed no willingness to cooperate.

The premier affirmed that guns should be solely retained in the hands of the security personnel of the national authority, and denied that he had told the CNN that the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation had brought only "miseries" to the people in the bank and the strip.

Hamas and Fatah have been locked up in a bitter power struggle. Abbas has recently sacked Ismail Haniya, who served as prime minister, as a result of "the coup" staged in Gaza. Haniya is also the top chief of Hamas.