Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday held talks in Cairo
with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on efforts to achieve unity between Fatah
and Hamas and resume peace talks with Israel.
The meeting came 48 hours
after Hamas and Fatah representatives who met in Cairo announced that they had
reached an agreement to achieve “reconciliation” between the two parties within
The talks are being held under the auspices of the Egyptian
authorities, which have been exerting heavy pressure on Hamas and Fatah to end
Abbas also met in Cairo on Thursday with Ramadan
Shallah, the leader of the Islamic Jihad organization.
A PA official in
Ramallah said that Abbas and Morsi also discussed Washington’s renewed efforts
to revive peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.
said that US Secretary of State John Kerry has been putting pressure on the PA
leadership to agree to the resumption of peace talks unconditionally.
PA continues to insist on a full cessation of settlement construction and the
release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons as a precondition for
returning to the negotiating table, the official said.
Aziz Dweik, a senior Hamas representative in the West Bank, voiced pessimism
regarding the prospects of implementing the latest Hamas-Fatah
He said the only reason Fatah was interested in the agreement
was to remove Hamas from power.
Dweik said that there would be no real
reconciliation unless the PA halted its crackdown on Hamas supporters in the
A public opinion poll published in the West Bank on Thursday
showed that a majority of 82 percent of Palestinians supports the formation of a
Hamas-Fatah unity government.
Seventy-one percent of Palestinians said
that the resignation of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad last month would not have
any impact on efforts to achieve reconciliation between the two rival parties,
according to the poll, which was conducted by the research and development
The poll covered only 238 Palestinian political activists