Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal
are scheduled to meet in Cairo on Friday in a renewed bid to form a Palestinian
Izat al-Risheq, a senior Hamas official, announced that
Abbas and Mashaal would also meet with leaders of various PLO groups to discuss
holding elections for their parliament-in-exile, the Palestine National
Risheq said Hamas and Fatah representatives would hold
additional talks in Cairo early next week to discuss the formation of a unity
government that would prepare for new presidential and parliamentary elections
in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Mashaal told the BBC on Thursday
that he was holding discussions with Abbas on the formation of a unity
government. He said the discussions were also focused on holding long –overdue
presidential and parliamentary elections.
“We are consulting about
forming a government of national accord,” Mashaal said. “Preparations for presidential, parliamentary
and executive council elections are under way.”
Yet as Fatah and Hamas
continue to talk about ending their differences, the PA security forces in the
West Bank pursued their crackdown on supporters of the Islamist
Sources close to Hamas said that over the past 48 hours, PA
security forces had arrested nine Hamas supporters in Nablus, Kalkilya, Ramallah
Most of those arrested had been released from Israeli
prisons in recent weeks, sources said.