Mashaal with Abbas 311 R.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Palestinian factions said Tuesday they have reached an agreement on the
formation of a central elections commission to prepare for presidential and
parliamentary votes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
However they failed
to reach agreement on the establishment of a new Palestinian caretaker
government that would be dominated by independent figures. As a result, the
Palestinian factions, specifically Fatah and Hamas, agreed to postpone the
discussions on the proposed government until the end of next month.
'Abbas is Fatah's only presidential candidate'
Analysis: Palestinian rivals united by drift
Palestinian factions are holding marathon discussions in Cairo in a bid to
implement the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation agreement that was reached
between Hamas and Fatah earlier this year. On Wednesday, PA President Mahmoud
Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal are expected to hold another meeting in
the Egyptian capital to discuss ways of removing obstacles preventing the
implementation of the reconciliation accord.
Hamas representative Ezat
Risheq said that the factions discussed the issue of the proposed elections and
agreed to start working on the establishment of a new central elections
He said that the committee would be comprised of members of
various Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah.
today were very serious,” Risheq said. “We are moving in the right
He added that at the request of Fatah and Abbas, the factions
agreed to postpone discussions on the formation of a new government until late
“There is some kind of an understanding that it’s hard to
establish a government before December 26,” he said. “We agreed to delay this
issue until late next month.”
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that the
Cairo discussions also dealt with ways of building confidence between his
movement and Hamas, such as the release of detainees being held by the two
parties in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He said other confidence-building
measures included permitting Fatah activists who fled the Gaza Strip after the
Hamas takeover in 2007 to return to their homes.
Hamas revealed Tuesday
that the PA security forces have arrested 76 Hamas supporters in the West Bank
in the past month “in violation of understandings reached between Abbas and
Earlier, eight Palestinian factions participating in the Cairo
talks pulled out of the meetings after Fatah leaders threatened to boycott the
The Fatah threat was issued under the pretext that the eight
factions were not part of the PLO, and therefore were not entitled to
participate in the intra-Palestinian dialogue.