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Hamas blames Abbas after unity talks falter
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
02/09/2013
Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas member, holds Abbas responsible for the failure of the Egyptian-sponsored Cairo reconciliation talks.
 
Representatives of Hamas and Fatah who met in Cairo over the weekend concluded their talks without reaching any agreement, Palestinian officials said on Saturday.

The two sides met in a renewed bid to end the dispute between the two groups, but could not agree on the formation of a Palestinian unity government or holding new elections.

Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, held Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responsible for the failure of the Egyptiansponsored reconciliation talks. Abu Marzouk said that Abbas tried once again to raise issues which the two sides had already agreed upon.

“If Abbas wants the reconciliation to proceed, he should refrain from raising issues that we had already reached agreement about,” the Hamas official said. “Instead, Abbas should be implementing what has already been agreed upon between Hamas and Fatah.”

Hanna Amireh, member of the PLO Executive Committee, said that differences erupted between Hamas and Fatah as soon as they started talking about the details regarding the formation of a unity government and holding new presidential and legislative elections. He said the two sides also failed to reach agreement on holding new elections for the PLO’s parliamentin- exile, the Palestine National Council.

According to Amireh, the Fatah and Hamas representatives were unable to agree on the dates for forming a new government and holding elections.

Rabah Muhanna, a representative of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who attended the Cairo discussions, said that the gap between Hamas and Fatah remains as wide as ever.

He said that Abbas was insisting on forming a unity government next month and holding elections within three months. Hamas, however, demanded that no date be set for holding the elections, he added.

Muhanna said that the two parties also failed to reach agreement on the issue of proportional representation in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

He said that the two sides also failed to agree on the makeup of the proposed unity government.

While Abbas continues to insist that the government consist of independent figures, Hamas wants its representatives to be part of the makeup, he explained.

Following the failure of the talks, Abbas left Cairo heading back to Ramallah.

In addition to Hamas and Fatah, representatives of several Palestinian groups, including Islamic Jihad, participated in the “reconciliation” talks.

During his stay in Cairo, Abbas held talks with Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders Khaled Mashaal and Ramadan Shallah.
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