US 'against unity with Hamas' as Fatah signs Egypt deal

A report says US sent a message to Egypt against unity deal with Hamas as Fatah party signed a reconciliation deal.

US 'against unity with Hamas' as Fatah signs Egypt deal

A report says US sent a message to Egypt against unity deal with Hamas as Fatah party on Tuesday signed Egypt's plan for separate signings of a reconciliation deal with Hamas.

But Hamas has asked for a postponement because of the controversial decision of Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas, who is the Fatah leader, to support deferring a vote on a damning Gaza war report at the UN Human Rights Council.

Hamas said it still had not decided whether to agree to the proposal put forward by Egyptian mediators, and another potential obstacle to a deal emerged when Hamas accused Egypt of torturing to death the brother of a spokesman for the group.

A Fatah source said the faction had signed the Egyptian paper -- although he did not say who had actually put pen to paper -- and added that a delegation headed by senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed would deliver it in Cairo on Wednesday.

Egypt had invited Fatah and Hamas to attend a ceremony on Oct. 24-26 in Cairo, where they were expected to sign a reconciliation pact.

Mohammed Dahlan, a senior Fatah leader, said he and other party officials would urge Abbas to hold Palestinian parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for Jan. 25 unilaterally if Hamas did not agree to the pact.

US "against unity"

In a report sourced to an unidentified official in the administration of President Barack Obama, Israel's Haaretz daily said United States sent a message to Egypt stating it does not support the proposed reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas.

U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell, according to the newspaper, said certain aspects of the agreement would "undermine" U.S. efforts to relaunch negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The U.S. embassy in Israel had no comment.

Under the proposed unity deal, a committee of Palestinian factions would act as a liaison between the Fatah-dominated government in the West Bank and Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip and a joint police force would be formed.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said his movement had not finalised its position.

It accused Egypt of torturing to death the brother of another spokesman arrested last April.

"It is strange that Egypt, which is trying to achieve reconciliation, has allowed such an incident to take place inside its prisons," Sami Abu Zuhri, the Hamas spokesman whose brother, Youssef Abu Zuhri, 38, died on Monday, said in Gaza.

Egyptian security officials denied the charge.

 

Agencies

Last Mod: 14 Ekim 2009, 13:36
Add Comment