The Ma’an independent Palestinian news agency, based in Bethlehem, is reporting today that Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told a re-convened group of Palestinian journalists that “my government’s first duty is to end the closure and pay the salaries that are due. But this is still the beginning. We are waiting for the forthcoming Paris conference. We intend to start building industrial areas so workers have the chance to work. The first one will be near Jenin.”
Fayyad also said: “The most important thing now regarding Gaza is to end the siege”. Ma’an also reported that with regard to the Gaza border crossings, Fayyad said, “We are ready to take over these border crossings but Israel has refused and is trying to spread rumours that it is the Ramallah government who has refused to take control of these crossings so Israel can exonerate itself.”
Fayyad told the journalists and editors that “My government is working hard to arrest those who create security problems. We are going to repair all eight of the security buildings destroyed by the Israeli army. We must exercise our authority not only regarding weapons but with the courts and judicial system.”
Ma’an also said that “Fayyad seemed pessimistic about Israel and his dealings with them. He gave many examples of how Israel is trying to prove that his government is weak. He gave an example the Israeli army withdrawing from Nablus and despite their agreement the Israeli army continued their incursions and targeted assassinations with the intention of damaging the PA. The prime minister said he wasn’t counting on the Annapolis conference and the journalists laughed when he said ‘Nablus for me is more important than Annapolis’.”
The Ma’an report on Fayyad’s roundtable with Palestinian editors and journalists is here.
The Palestinian Authority has expressed outrage and concern that the Israeli Defense Force continues to operate in Nablus between midnight and 6am, during which time the Palestinian security services are supposed to stay indoors. By 9:26 on Tuesday morning, Ma’an reported today, “Israeli forces detained seven Palestinians on Tuesday after several military vehicles raided the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank”.