The Egyptians announced on Thursday that Fatah and Hamas have agreed to start
immediately implementing previous reconciliation agreements signed between the
two rival parties.
The announcement came shortly after Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal held three
hours of talks in Cairo to discuss ways of ending the dispute between the two
Abbas and Mashaal “displayed a positive and responsible spirit”
during the discussions, which were attended by senior Egyptian intelligence
officials, the Egyptians said in a statement.
Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a
spokesman for Abbas, said that the two sides agreed on the formation of several
joint committees to discuss the implementation of the reconciliation accords,
first and foremost the Qatari-sponsored unity deal that was signed by Abbas and
Mashaal last year.
Abu Rudaineh said that one of the committees would
discuss preparations for holding presidential and parliamentary elections in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip, while other committees would be entrusted with dealing
with the formation of a Palestinian unity government and the reconstruction of
The Qatari accord calls for, among other things, the
establishment of a Palestinian unity government headed by Abbas.
spokesman claimed that Palestinians were facing an Israeli “conspiracy” aimed at
dividing them and excluding Jerusalem and refugees from a future
He said that Abbas was convinced more than ever that the
Palestinians need to be united, especially in the wake of the UN General
Assembly’s vote in favor of upgrading their status to non-member observer state
and the recent Fatah anniversary celebrations in the Gaza Strip.
while Fatah leaders voiced optimism regarding the prospects of ending the
rivalry with Hamas, representatives of the Islamist movement said it was
premature to talk about a breakthrough or progress in the reconciliation
The Hamas representatives said that the two parties would
hold more meetings in the coming weeks to pursue efforts to close the divide
between the two factions.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a
statement denouncing the Abbas- Mashaal talks.
“Abu Mazen [Abbas]
embraces the head of a terrorist organization that declared only last month that
Israel must be wiped off the map,” Netanyahu said.
“This is not how
someone who wants peace behaves.”
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to