Fatah rejects local mediation to resume reconciliation talks with Hamas

12:42, December 20, 2009      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party rejected a local mediation to bury the hatchet with Islamic Hamas movement, an official said on Saturday.

"Fatah will not deal with any committee or side except Egypt," Azzam al-Ahmad told Xinhua.

Al-Ahmad stressed that Fatah only recognizes the Egyptian proposal to reconcile with Hamas. The Islamic movement in Gaza refused to sign the Egyptian initiative and wanted Cairo to consider several reservations and amendments it raised.

Since February 2009, Egypt has brokered several rounds of the reconciliation talks in Cairo between rival Fatah and Hamas to iron out their rifts, which have yielded little tangible results.

The national Palestinian dialogue has shuddered to a halt "because Hamas refused to sign the Egyptian paper," al-Ahmad said.

Last week, the Palestinian Reconciliation Committee, made up ofa group of independent Palestinians, met Hamas leaders in Gaza and discussed ways of resuming the dialogue to restore political unity in Gaza and the Fatah-ruled West Bank.

Al-Ahmad dismissed the mediation of these independents, saying that Fatah "will not allow unknown persons to seek a role at the expense of the Palestinian people and that the reconciliation will take place only through Egypt."

Also on Saturday, a Hamas official said that the reconciliation reached an impasse after Egypt rejected to amend its offer in a way meeting Hamas' reservations.

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.

Source: Xinhua
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