Morsy to resume Hamas-Fatah unity efforts in Cairo

Egyptian president invites representatives of the rival Palestinian parties to meet in Cairo after the Muslim holiday of Id al-Fitr.

PA President Abbas with Hamas leader Khaled  Mashaal 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Ho New)
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.
The 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 week.
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 Gaza Strip.
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 unity.”
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 future.
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 year.
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.