Fatah and Hamas have signed a Palestinian reconciliation deal in Cairo, Al Jazeera reported Tuesday, citing an AFP report.
"We signed the deal despite several reservations. But we insisted on working for the higher national interest," Palestine People's Party member Walid al-Awad was quoted as saying.
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Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas are expected to sign the Egyptian-sponsored reconciliation
in Cairo on Wednesday.
Earlier Tuesday, Hamas officials were quoted as saying that the Islamist group would honor an unofficial truce with Israel after signing the unity deal with Fatah.
The anonymous comments came as an Egyptian paper reported that the two rival Palestinian factions will maintain a Gaza truce with Israel following the scheduled signing of the deal. The Al-Ahram
report quoted Palestinian sources.
Also Tuesday, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said the unity deal was the direct
result of the uprising in Egypt and the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
On Sunday, Mashaal's deputy Musa Abu Marzouk was quoted as saying
that Hamas would not
recognize Israel’s right to exist, despite the agreement to form a
Palestinian unity government.
has a principled position regarding this issue,” Marzouk said. “We
won’t recognize the Zionist entity. Our rights are still usurped and
it’s illogical for us to recognize the Zionist entity because that would
be at the expense of our stolen lands and our people in the refugee
Marzouk said that Hamas did not see any connection
between recognizing Israel’s right to exist and the establishment of a
“Most of the Arab countries don’t recognize
Israel, and yet they continue to deal with the international community,”
he said. “And many European countries did not recognize Israel until
recently. Therefore the international community should not look into
Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to