Egypt delays unity deal, Hamas asks for more time

Abbas admits his government erred in accepting the delay of UN report in Geneva two weeks ago.

Egypt delays unity deal, Hamas asks for more time

Egypt has delayed its deadline for Hamas to sign a unity deal with Fatah after the Islamist group asked for a delay, an Egyptian official said on Friday. 

The Egyptian official said on Friday cited the growing tension between Fatah and Hamas over the delaying by Abbas of a U.N. report slamming the Israeli military offensive into Gaza in December and January that killed nearly 1500 Palestinian, whose a third of them were children.

Cairo had slated a signing ceremony for October 25.

The official told Reuters no new date was set for signing.

"Egypt saw it was better to delay until there is a suitable atmosphere," he said.

Abbas admits his government erred in accepting the delay of UN report in Geneva two weeks ago, which particularly details Israel's alleged war crimes during the Gaza offensive.

"We are not going to let things collapse," said another Egyptian official of his country's lengthy mediation between the Palestinian factions which began over a year ago.

"We will wait until the dust settles and activate efforts again and I hope that will be very soon."

The deal would postpone Palestinian presidential and parliamentarian elections until June 28, 2010.

Fatah has signed it and this week Abbas announced that if Hamas did not sign he would go ahead with elections in January as called for by the constitution.

It is unclear how Fatah would be able to hold a full election since Hamas has vowed to block voting in Gaza if the ballot was scheduled without its agreement.

Senior Fatah leader Azzam Al-Ahmed, who carried the signed document to Cairo, said the group would not seek to hold elections in the West Bank alone.

He said failure to reach an agreement could delay the vote "indefinitely".

"Right to resist Israel occupation"

Hamas officials said they had asked Cairo for another three days to give a final response.

However, Syria-based Palestinian groups including Hamas said on Thursday they will not sign a reconciliation deal with Fatah unless the text includes a clause on the right to resist Israeli occupation.

A spokesman for the Damascus-based Palestinian bloc said, however, that they were not happy with the agreement, saying it "lacks a political vision concerning the conflict (with Israel) and the aggression against our people."

"The Palestinian factions will not sign the accord... unless the text includes the principles and the rights of Palestinians, especially that of resisting the Zionist occupation," said the spokesman, Khaled Abdel Majid.

"We urge all Palestinian groups and national personalities to act rapidly and take those measures necessary to preserve the Palestinian cause from the dangers that threaten it, and to insist on the historic rights of our people."

He said the deal proposed by Egypt should also include the question of "Jerusalem and the dangers of judaisation and permanent aggression that threaten this holy city," as well as "the right of return for Palestinian refugees to their homes."

Meanwhile, The U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday endorsed a Gaza report that details possible war crimes in December-January offensive.



Agencies

Last Mod: 16 Ekim 2009, 15:10
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