Fatah official Ahmed Qurei with Mohammed Ibrahim, .
(photo credit: AP)
Egypt on Tuesday condemned the Hamas move to ban Fatah members from traveling to a key party convention in the West Bank, saying the decision was "unacceptable."
The convention is to elect a new leadership of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' movement. Fatah says the meeting due next week is now in jeopardy because of Hamas' ban.
Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki condemned Hamas' decision as "regrettable" and "unacceptable."
Zaki said Egypt would mediate to resolve the issue. His statement Tuesday was among the harshest criticism to date of Hamas.
Hamas officials in Gaza say they will only let Fatah delegates leave if Abbas releases hundreds of Hamas prisoners in the West Bank.