A Fatah official says that Hamas and Fatah agree on everything, as representatives of both sides negotiate in Cairo the details of their planned unity government. No white smoke has yet emerged from the conference room.
Representatives of rival Palestinian Authority factions Fatah and Hamas met in Cairo on Monday to try to reach agreement on details of their national unity government. Progress was reported, but details were not.
Asked whether a new prime minister had been chosen, Fatah negotiator Azzam al-Ahmad said it was "premature" to discuss specific names. Current PA prime minister Salam Fayyad of Fatah, considered a "moderate" in the West, has been rejected by Hamas.
The two factions, which fought a bitter war in 2007 in Gaza and other blood-filled battles since then, signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo earlier this month. The U.S., Israel and other countries have said it will not recognize or talk with a Palestinian leadership that includes Hamas, whose charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.
Hamas and Fatah Agree
A top Fatah official in Gaza said over the weekend, according to a report by Khaled Abu Toameh, that the political programs of both Fatah and Hamas are identical. Abdullah Abu Samhadana, speaking at a Gaza rally, said there is “full conformity” between the two, particularly regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines and other issues.
This statement should raise many eyebrows, in that the Hamas charter calls for the destruction of Israel, while Fatah has been seen as accepting a Jewish state.
The battles between Hamas and Fatah, which led to the Hamas take-over of Gaza in 2007, have included brutal killings on both sides, such as throwing people off of ten-story buildings and torturing prisoners to death.