Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal
are expected to meet in Cairo next week to discuss the implementation of the
Egyptian-brokered reconciliation between the two sides, and the formation of a
Palestinian unity government, sources close to the two parties said
The meeting would be the fourth between Abbas and Mashaal
since May 2011, when they announced in Cairo an agreement to end the power
struggle between Fatah and Hamas.
Amin Maqboul, a senior Fatah official
in Ramallah, said that the two would discuss ways of overcoming obstacles
hindering the implementation of the reconciliation pact.
agreement, Fatah and Hamas have failed to make progress toward ending their
dispute. The two parties have yet to agree on the make-up of the proposed unity
government and other issues related to security and elections.
addition, Hamas has accused the PA of continuing its security clamp-down on
Hamas supporters in the West Bank. Hamas officials said Wednesday that PA
security forces have arrested more than 70 supporters of the Islamist movement
in the past three months.
A source close to Hamas confirmed that Abbas
and Mashaal would meet in Cairo next week.
The source said that Hamas has
suggested that the unity government be headed by Ziad Abu Amr, an independent
legislator from the Gaza Strip, who is also acceptable to Fatah.
unrelated development, Abu Ali Shaheen, a veteran Fatah official, Wednesday
called on Abbas not to run in the next Palestinian presidential election and to
pave the way for younger leaders to rise to power.
“I will do all that I
can to stop him from presenting his candidacy once again," Shaheen told the
London-based Al-Quds Al- Arabi newspaper. “We’ve had enough. We want to see
young people like [jailed Fatah official] Marwan Barghouti. We want a capable
young man who could deliver.”
Shaheen is a staunch supporter of Mohammed
Dahlan, a former Fatah security commander who was recently expelled from Fatah
following a sharp dispute with Abbas.