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Hamas, Fatah agree to delay unity deal until after Palestinian statehood vote

GAZA CITY — The Hamas regime has acknowledged that a reconciliation agreement with Fatah was stalled.


Hamas said its reconciliation accord with Fatah was blocked by disagreement over a proposed national unity government for the Palestinian Authority. A senior Hamas official said the disagreements concern the nomination of a prime minister as well as legislature approval.

[On June 29, Fatah and Hamas were reported to have agreed to delay the formation of the unity government until after the expected United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood in September. The official Saudi Press Agency said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas relayed the proposal to Hamas through Turkey, which has sought to resolve obstacles to reconciliation.]

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Mahmoud Zahar became the first senior official from Hamas or Fatah to announce the delay in the reconciliation effort. In an interview with Jordan's Al Dustour daily on June 28, Zahar blamed Abbas for the setback.

Zahar, in an assertion confirmed by his colleagues, said Abbas has refused to accept Hamas nominations for PA prime minister. Instead, Abbas has insisted that Prime Minister Salam Fayad, supported by the European Union and United States, continue in his post for at least the next year.

Abbas was also said to have refused to reactivate the Palestinian Legislative Council. Zahar said the PA chairman did not want the PLC to vote on the Fatah-Hamas government, a key element in the April 27 accord.

The Hamas statement came after PA and Fatah officials asserted that a national unity government was imminent. Senior PA officials said the government should have been announced in early June.

"We signed the reconciliation accord which stated that choosing the prime minister and the ministers would be done through agreement," Hamas leader Khalil Al Haya said on June 27.

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