Fatah: National reconciliation on hold until end of Hamas internal elections

Efforts to achieve reconciliation with Hamas have been put on hold until the end of the movement’s internal elections, a senior Fatah movement official said Monday.

Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmed told official Palestinian radio that “the reconciliation and putting an end to the division has been frozen since Hamas requested that the formation of the government be postponed due to conflicts between its leaders.”

“Hamas postponed the reconciliation issues in order to resolve its internal issues, and it is now in the preparation phase for the elections,” said Ahmed, the head of Fatah’s national dialogue delegation.

He said the elections will continue throughout the month, and that the new political bureau will then meet next month.

Ahmed said that a few days ago in Cairo, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas — who heads Fatah — informed Hamas political bureau Deputy Chairman Moussa Abu Marzouq that there was no need to discuss any issue related to the formation of the consensus government and the achievement of reconciliation until the election committee begins its work in the Gaza Strip.

Ahmed also denied that Abbas’ changes regarding the caretaker government headed by Salam Fayyad had anything to do with the faltering of reconciliation efforts. This faltering, he said, was related to the government vacancies.

Hamas previously criticized the announcement of imminent changes to Fayyad’s government, describing it as “an escape from the reconciliation entitlements.”

Abbas and Hamas political bureau leader Khaled Meshaal signed an agreement on 6 February under the auspices of Qatar on the formation of a consensus government headed by Abbas to prepare for the general elections. But continuing differences between the two sides prevented the implementation of the agreement.

Translated from DPA

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