Abbas was planning to visit the Gaza Strip by mid-April, Middle East Newsline reported. But the PA
chairman has refused to resume negotiations with Hamas for a unity
"Hamas insists on starting dialogue from point zero," Fatah Central
Committee member Nabil Shaath said.
Shaath, a former PA foreign minister, said Abbas would engage in
consultations with the Fatah leadership before he decided on when to visit
the Gaza Strip. He said Hamas was expected to oppose any Abbas visit and
instead wait until the Islamic regime garners Arab support.
"Hamas aspires and is counting on Egypt to be ruled by Islamists so they
can help Hamas against us," Shaath said. "Hamas says, 'Why rush?' to which I
say it is a losing bet. I don't see Iran or Syria in the picture because the
winds of change are hitting everyone in the region."
So far, the new military regime in Egypt has not embraced Hamas in wake
of the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Officials said Cairo remained
suspicious of Hamas and was refusing the entry of its agents in Egypt's
"Even if the president [Abbas] visits Gaza, reconciliation won't be
reached and the bet will be on the street movement to end the split," former
PA Culture Minister Ibrahim Abrashi said.