PA President Abbas with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ho New)
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has decided to resume efforts to end the power
struggle between Fatah and Hamas, Palestinian sources said Tuesday.
sources said that Morsy has invited representatives of the two rival parties to
meetings in Cairo after the holiday of Id al-Fitr, which begins next
Morsy’s decision to resume efforts to end the Fatah-Hamas dispute
comes amid growing tensions between the two sides, especially in the wake of
last week’s terror attack in Sinai, in which 16 Egyptian border guards were
killed by unidentified terrorists.
The Palestinian Authority has held
Hamas responsible for the attack. Last week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas urged
the Egyptians to destroy all the underground tunnels along their border with the
Abbas’s appeal drew sharp criticism from Hamas leaders, who
accused the PA leadership of “cheap opportunism” and attempting to drive a wedge
between the Islamist movement and Egypt.
On Monday night, representatives
of various Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas and Fatah,
agreed on the need to revive efforts to achieve “reconciliation and
The groups welcomed Morsy’s efforts to end the Hamas-Fatah
dispute and said they would attend any meeting held in Cairo under the auspices
of the Egyptian authorities.
Some Palestinians expressed skepticism regarding the prospects of ending the dispute in the near
Amin Maqboul, a senior Fatah official in the West Bank, said that
the ball was still in Hamas’s court.
He said that there was no need for a
new round of talks between the two parties, because Hamas had stopped the
implementation of previous agreements when it suspended the registration of
voters in the Gaza Strip a few weeks ago.
The registration of voters was
in line with the Doha Accord, which was signed earlier this year between Abbas
and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal. The agreement calls for the establishment of a
Palestinian unity government that would prepare for new presidential and
parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories before the end of the
Hamas suspended the registration process after accusing the PA of
attempting to “steal the vote.” Hamas spokesmen have since claimed that Fatah is
not serious about ending the dispute.