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'Hamas cancels unity meeting with Fatah'

August 22, 2010 15:45

Report: Decision due to announcement of direct peace talks.

A member of the Hamas-affiliated Popular Resistanc

hamas man 311. (photo credit:AP)

Hamas postponed a meeting with Fatah indefinitely on Sunday, due to the Palestinian Authority’s decision to enter direct talks with Israel, the Ma’an News Agency reported.

The meeting, which was supposed to take place on Saturday night, had been scheduled in order to address the obstacles to unity between the two groups.

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Hamas originally gave no reason for canceling the meeting, which was initiated by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, according to Ma’an.

Senior Fatah official Salah Abu Khatla told Ma’an that the Fatah delegation was supposed to include senior members Sakher Bseiso and Zakaria al-Agha.

Fatah officials were in the Gaza Strip to attend the funeral of a former PA intelligence official.

With the exception of the PLO Executive Committee, an unelected body dominated by Abbas loyalists, Palestinians across the political spectrum were united over the weekend in denouncing the PA’s “capitulation.” Several Palestinian factions accused the PA leadership of abandoning its conditions and succumbing to outside pressure.

The groups also warned that Abbas does not have a mandate to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians since his term in office had expired in January.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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