Abbas meets Mashaal in Cairo 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Al Hams/Handout)
Efforts to achieve reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas have stumbled over the
formation of a Palestinian unity government and the reconstruction of the
Palestinian Authority security forces, representatives of the two rival parties
said over the weekend.
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Hamas, meanwhile, denied a report that claimed
that it has agreed to abandon the “armed struggle” against Israel in favor of a
peaceful and popular “resistance” against settlers and IDF
Hamas did not make any pledge to suspend the armed struggle
against Israel, said Hamas legislator Salah Bardaweel.
“These reports [in
the Arab media] are untrue,” he said.
Following last Thursday’s summit in
Cairo between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, the
two sides expressed optimism regarding the prospects of implementing the
Egyptian-engineered reconciliation deal that was announced last May.
Abbas and Mashaal described their talks as “positive” and said they had agreed
to work as “partners” and share the same responsibilities.
The two men
also announced that they agreed to open a new page in relations between Hamas
and Fatah. Abbas said that there were no differences between Fatah and Hamas and
that the two parties would work together to implement the reconciliation
But over the weekend it transpired that differences between the two
parties remained almost the same as they were before the summit.
addition to the ongoing dispute over the make-up of the proposed unity
government, Fatah and Hamas have failed to solve their differences over the
reconstruction of the security forces and the release of detainees being held by
both sides in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“The 45-minute meeting
between President Abbas and Khaled Mashaal was not as successful as it is being
portrayed,” a senior Fatah official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post
most important thing was that the two leaders met and agreed to continue talking
about reconciliation and unity. It will take a long time before we ever see real
changes on the ground.”
The official said that because of the continued
differences, Hamas and Fatah decided to hold another round of talks in Cairo
He said that Hamas’s refusal to accept current PA Prime
Minister Salam Fayyad as head of any future government remained a major obstacle
to the implementation of the reconciliation deal.
Abbas explained to
Mashaal that without Fayyad the Palestinians would be punished by the Americans
and Europeans, the official said.
“But this did not change Mashaal’s
position. Hamas believes that in wake of the Arab Spring, Arab governments would
compensate the Palestinians for any loss of Western financial aid,” the official