Hamas deputy leader Mousa Abu Marzouq
Hamas deputy leader Mousa Abu MarzouqReuters

The tensions between Hamas and Fatah continued Sunday, as Hamas urged the Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Fatah’s Mahmoud Abbas, to facilitate the entry of construction material into Gaza.

"Reconstruction of Gaza is one of the most important tasks the PA should carry out according to the reconciliation agreement, but on the condition that there be no obstacles, physical or legal, to the entry of construction material," senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk said in a statement quoted by the Ma’an news agency.

The statement points to growing frustration with the PA's failure to pressure Israel to open the border into Gaza, despite two different negotiation meetings with Israeli officials where it promised to do just that, according to the report.

It also underlines tension between Hamas and the Fatah-dominated PA despite working together in a technocratic government of national reconciliation, as Hamas has in recent days accused PA security forces of cracking down on members and attacking rallies.

Abu Marzouk reiterated in the statement that Hamas had no problem with the PA coming into Gaza and carrying out reconstruction, expressing frustration that the unity government was failing to fulfill its duties.

"Hamas has questions about several issues which are the duties and responsibilities of the national consensus government," he added, according to Ma’an, stressing that these responsibilities included the salaries of Gaza civil servants, security arrangements on the border, and managing the Gaza crossings, in addition to the reconstruction process.

Rival factions Hamas and Fatah set up a unity government of independents in June after seven years of hostilities between the sides, but there have been multiple reports over the past several months that the unity government has been slowly crumbling.

Differences of opinion have surfaced over several issues, including the war in Gaza, reactions to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, and the delayed payment of wages for government workers in Gaza in the weeks leading up to Operation Protective Edge. 

Nevertheless, the sides reached a comprehensive agreement in late September that kept the unity government in place.

Recently, the unity government held its first full cabinet meeting in Gaza, and both groups later claimed the years of division are now over.