The much-touted Palestinian Authority “unity” agreed upon between the Ramallah-based Fatah faction and the Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza has not quite come to fruition, at least when it comes to diplomatic visits between the two sides.

Hamas de-facto foreign policy chief Mahmoud al-Zahar told the Bethelehem-based Ma'an news agency Wednesday that there is still much to be done before true unity is achieved.

“We will have to work on reconciliation sessions between the well-known families in [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza that would make the security more stable than it is right now,” Zahar said.

He noted in the interview that although a political reconciliation has been achieved, it is not strong enough to allow for a visit to Gaza by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who leads Fatah from Ramallah.

Admitting that Abbas would not be safe, Zahar claimed that “Israeli agents” in Gaza would shoot at Abbas in order to cause divisions between Fatah and Hamas.

In addition, he said, the Hamas de facto government that seized control of Gaza after winning the militia war between the two factions in June 2007 would not allow the return of security officers who had run Gaza security offices prior to the conflict.

Nor will Hamas allow Fatah to reopen its offices in Gaza. Instead, Zahar said, this issue has been referred to the Egyptian/Arab committee that has been tasked with supervising the implementation of the reconciliation deal negotiated between the two rivals.

The last time such a deal was agreed upon, it led to a unity government in 2006 that lasted less than a month.