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Hamas obstructs Palestinian reconciliation: Abbas spokesman

(Xinhua)

08:16, February 24, 2012

RAMALLAH, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday accused Hamas movement of obstructing the Palestinian national reconciliation.

Wednesday's meeting between Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal in Cairo was "routine and did not bring any new development due to big splits inside Hamas," the spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdineh, told Xinhua.

His remarks followed reports that Hamas drew up some conditions to accept the agreement Abbas and Mashaal signed in Doha, Qatar, earlier this month.

The Doha pact tasks Abbas with forming an interim government of independents to prepare for elections in the West Bank and in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Gaza-based Hamas leaders are opposed to Abbas-Mashaal deal, saying that Mashaal, head of the Islamic movement's political bureau, signed the deal with Abbas before discussing with the politburo members.

Members of the political bureau met in Cairo Wednesday to come up with a final decision concerning the Doha deal.

After the meeting, Abu Rdineh said Hamas had set conditions to accept the agreement, but Abbas rejected those conditions. "We were expecting such a statement and we knew its content... It only brought new obstacles."

Hamas wants the new government to get confidence from the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), which Hamas controls. " President Abbas rejects this because it gives legitimacy to Hamas, " Abu Rdineh explained.

In 2007, Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and took over the Gaza Strip.

Hamas also bans the Central Elections Commission from working in Gaza though it had allowed the committee to reopen its offices there. Abbas wants the commission to start working before he begins forming the interim government.

Hamas seeks to "administrate" the political split between Gaza and the West Bank instead of reconciliation, Abu Rdineh said.

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