Timetable For Palestinian Reconciliation Agreed Between Hamas And Fatah
Monday May 21, 2012 16:00 by Sean Mahon - IMEMC & Agencies
Elections should be held in approximately 6 months to form a new power sharing deal between rivals Fatah and Hamas officials have said.
Stalled efforts at reconciliation previously make it unclear if this deal brokered in Egypt would end in success.
The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have had divided political leadership after violent conflict broke out following Hamas' Legislative Council election victory in 2006. A unity deal was reached earlier this year but got hung up over disagreements over whether Abbas should head an interim government that prepares for elections.
Azzam Ahmed of Fatah and Fawzi Barhoum of Hamas say the sides agreed Sunday that the interim government should be formed by the first week of June and remain in office for six months.
Fatah, which, as the largest party, controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, have been attempting to implement a reconciliation agreement brokered by Egypt and signed last year in Cairo. That agreement included the formation of a unity government and the holding of elections in May 2012.
Meanwhile in Cairo, Abu Marzouk from Hamas stated that while he does not object to Mahmoud Abbas negotiating with Israel, any agreement would be seen as only a truce as they still do not recognize Israel as a state.
“When we reach the agreement, our point of view is, it's a hudna (truce)", Abu Marzouk, the deputy director of Hamas' political bureau, told American newspaper The Forward, which focuses on Jewish life, adding, "It's better than war and better than the continuous resistance against the occupation. And better than Israel occupying the West Bank and Gaza, making all these difficulties and problems on both sides."