Accessibility links

Palestinian Parliament Approves New Unity Government

The Palestinian parliament has overwhelmingly approved a new Fatah-Hamas coalition government.

Eighty-three members of the 132-member parliament voted in favor of the landmark Cabinet Saturday, clearing a formal hurdle in an attempt to end a crippling international aid boycott of the Palestinian Authority. Forty-one parliament members are in Israeli detention.

Presenting the new government's platform, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said the Hamas-led government will work towards establishing a Palestinian state in the lands Israel occupied in the 1967 Six Day War.

He also called on the United States to rethink its position on the Palestinian issue, and said he looks forward to having good relations between Palestinians and the American people.

President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to stop all kinds of violence and aggression against Palestinians. The moderate Fatah leader said Palestinians are ready, without restrictions, to proceed with a negotiated peace with Israel.

Israel has already rejected the new unity government. The Jewish state says it will not work with the new Palestinian government because it does not recognize Israel's right to exist.

The United States also has criticized the new government because it does not renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist - a condition set by the international Middle East Quartet.

The quartet - the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia - has demanded that Hamas also accept previous peace agreements.

The United States, Israel and the European Union classify Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.