(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
A meeting that was supposed to take place in Cairo this Tuesday between
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal
has been postponed indefinitely.
The two men were scheduled to announce
the establishment of a new Palestinian unity government.
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Last week, Hamas
and Fatah negotiators who held talks in Cairo claimed that they had reached
agreement over the make-up of the proposed government. They said that Abbas and
Mashaal had been invited to Cairo on Tuesday to announce the new
On May 4, the two parties announced that they had reached a
reconciliation accord under the auspices of the new Egyptian
The accord calls for the establishment of a unity government
that would consist of independent figures whose task would be to prepare for
presidential and parliamentary elections, which would be held within one
Fatah and Hamas have failed, however, to agree on the identity of
the prime minister who would head the joint government.
to insist on the appointment of current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, while Hamas
says it would never sit together with him in any government.
cancellation of Tuesday’s summit between Abbas and Mashaal is seen as a severe
blow to the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation pact.
Azzam al-Ahmed, head
of the Fatah delegation to the talks with Hamas, said that efforts would be made
to set a new date for the summit.
He said that the meeting was canceled
at the request of Fatah, “to provide a better atmosphere for the reconciliation