Hamas accepts Egypt’s proposed inter-Palestinian reconciliation


Gaza: Gaza’s Hamas Islamic movement has announced that it accepted Egypt’s proposed pact for inter-Palestinian reconciliation and will unilaterally sign it in Cairo Saturday.

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Ahmed Yousef, a deputy in the deposed ministry of Hamas foreign affairs, told reporters Friday that “after long debates and discussions (we) will handover the drafted pact to Egypt Saturday with some small notes on it”.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party had unilaterally signed the pact in Cairo Thursday after its leader Azzam el-Ahmad announced that his party accepted the pact without reservations.

“From the beginning, Hamas hasn’t opposed the Egyptian drafted pact, but it needed some more time to make sure of certain points that need to be clarified by the Egyptian sponsor of the dialogue,” said Yousef.

He said the pact shouldn’t include the international Quartet conditions, mainly the recognition of Israel, adding “any government which will be formed after the upcoming elections should gain a full Arab support”.

“Hamas wants guarantees that if it wins in any upcoming elections, no embargo will be imposed on it. Hamas also wants Egypt to open Rafah crossing to open Gaza for the external world,” said Yousef.

The Egyptian drafted pact for inter-reconciliation doesn’t include any of the Quartet’s conditions. It calls for presidential and legislative elections in June 2010 instead of Jan 25.

Egypt earlier announced that it would delay the official declaration of the pact until further notice.

Egypt, which drafted the pact in coordination with Fatah, Hamas and other factions, throughout six months of marathon dialogue, decided to ask each faction to first unilaterally sign the pact.

According to the pact, an official ceremony will be held in Cairo the end of November, where all leaders of the Palestinians will attend for the official signing. Yousef said that Hamas doesn’t oppose these dates.