Hamas official says Palestinian reconciliation at impasse

12:41, December 20, 2009      

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Palestinian reconciliation reached an impasse because Egypt insists rival factions sign a proposal that Cairo presented despite Hamas' reservations on the offer, a Hamas official said on Saturday.

Expecting an imminent reconciliation "is only wishes and hopes that have no balance on the ground," said Damascus-based Mohammed Nazzal in an interview published by the Gaza-based Felesteen newspaper.

Nazzal blamed Egypt, which sponsors the national Palestinian dialogue, on delaying a power-sharing pact between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party by insisting that Hamas must sign the Egyptian initiative.

The reservations of the Islamic movement, which took over Gaza by force in 2007, involve security matters, elections' date and the reforming of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Hamas' parliamentary term ends in January 2010 but it refuses Abbas' calls for elections unless political unity is restored to the West Bank where Fatah holds sway.

For this, Nazzal said that the split between Gaza and the West Bank "will remain in place until a further notice," stressing that his movement "will not sign the Egyptian paper forcefully."

Source: Xinhua
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