Fatah, Hamas hammer out reconciliation deal
LAST UPDATED: 04/27/2011 18:27
Parties reach agreement on interim government, set a date for elections; Hamas says all points of contention have been solved, Fatah and Hamas leaders will soon be invited together to Cairo for additional talks.
PA President Abbas with Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh Photo: REUTERS/Abd Alhalim Abu Aska
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement and its rival Hamas said on Wednesday they had resolved their deep divisions, opening the way for a unity government and national elections. The deal, which took many officials by surprise, was thrashed out in Egypt and followed a series of secret meetings. The two groups hammered out an agreement, setting
the stage for forming an interim government as well as fixing a date for
a general election. The accord was first reported by Egypt's intelligence service, which brokered the talks.
In a statement carried by the Egyptian state news agency MENA, the
intelligence service said the deal was hatched by a Hamas delegation led
by Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of the group's politburo, and Fatah
Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad.
"The consultations resulted in full understandings on all points of
discussions, including setting up an interim agreement with specific
tasks and to set a date for election," the statement said.
It said the agreement would allow Egypt to invite all Palestinian
factions to sign a national reconciliation agreement in Cairo in the
next few days.
Spokespeople for both Hamas and Fatah confirmed that "all
differences" have been worked out between the long-feuding Palestinians
A spokesperson for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said
that Hamas has agreed to hold elections within a year, a part of the
reconciliation deal it signed in Cairo.
"The two sides signed initial letters on an agreement. All points of differences have been overcome," Taher Al-Nono, the Hamas government spokesman in Gaza, said.
A Hamas spokesperson said that "all points of differences" between the
rival groups have been overcome. He added that officials in Cairo will
soon invite top Hamas and Fatah officials for a signing ceremony in the
The breakthrough came
as a result of talks reported on Tuesday, when a Hamas delegation
traveled to Cairo for discussions on a potential Fatah-Hamas
delegation, headed by Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of
Hamas’s political bureau, met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil
Elaraby and members of the ruling military council.
At the same time that the Hamas delegation was meeting with officials in
Cairo, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sat down with an
Egyptian diplomat in Ramallah.
In the meeting with Egyptian Ambassador to the PA Yasser Othman, Abbas
said, "Egypt is the backbone of our people's aspirations toward having
an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," official
Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA reported.
Abbas's meeting in Ramallah had the same agenda as Hamas's in
Cairo: reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip.