Palestinian factions to reevaluate reconciliation

Palestinian factions to reevaluate reconciliation

GAZA - Reuters
Palestinian factions to reevaluate reconciliation

People hold pieces representing Palestinian territories West Bank and Gaza Strip. Reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah is likely to affected after Fatah said three of its officials had been stopped by Hamas in Gaza. AP photo

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement said Jan. 8 it would have to re-evaluate its reconciliation pact with the Islamist Hamas group following the rejection of a Fatah visit to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip last week.

In a statement, Fatah’s Central Committee said Hamas’s behavior showed it was not interested in the implementation of the reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo last year, which included the formation of a unity government and the holding of a parliamentary election on May 4. Tension between the two Palestinian factions contrasts with the positive atmosphere stressed by both sides in December, when
Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal met in Cairo and agreed on steps to end hostility.

Fatah said three of its senior officials had been stopped by Hamas security officers at the entrance to the Israeli-blockaded territory Jan. 6 and had been forced to turn back. The action by Hamas officers was “inadequate and humiliating,” Fatah said in a statement.

Hamas in turn accused Fatah of reneging on the Egyptian-brokered deal to end four years of bitter rivalry that has split the Palestinian national movement. It said Abbas was putting peace talks with Israel, taking place in Jordan, ahead of Palestinian unity. “If Fatah has made a decision to backtrack from reconciliation in favor of returning to negotiation with the Zionist enemy, they should bear full responsibility for the consequences of such a decision before the Palestinian people, and the Egyptian mediator,” Hamas said in a statement.