Egypt: Reconciling Hamas, Fatah a ‘Top Priority’
Egypt sees reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah as a “top priority,” Egyptian ambassador to the Palestinian Authority (PA) Yasser Othman said Sunday. Egypt brokered a deal between the rival groups, but its terms have yet to be carried out.
Hamas calls openly to force all Jews to convert to Islam or be murdered; the group split from the Fatah-led PA in a bloody confrontation in 2007, after winning most parliamentary seats in 2006.
Speaking to the PA-based Maan news, Othman said PA Chairman Abbas recently traveled to Egypt to discuss the reconciliation deal. Abbas is also in Egypt to increase support for his planned appeal to the UN for recognition, he added.
Hamas sources quoted in the report said Abbas will meet Hamas lead Khaled Mashaal in Cairo next month to discuss bringing Hamas back into the PA. Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed met with Mashaal last week.
Abbas has avoided holding PA elections while the conflict with Hamas continues, arguing that elections are impossible without unity. In the meantime, he has remained in power for more than two years following the expiration of his term.