An Egyptian security delegation is expected to arrive in Gaza on Sunday to follow up on the stalled reconciliation efforts between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas, a senior Fatah official said on Saturday, according to the PA’s official news agency Wafa.
Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of the Fatah Central Committee who is in charge of the reconciliation talks with Hamas, said in a telephone interview with the Voice of Palestine radio that the Egyptians had informed him to the delegation’s visit to Gaza.
He added that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are determined to go ahead with the reconciliation as agreed in Cairo in October “regardless of the slowness and obstacles placed by Hamas.”
Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in October, as part of which Hamas was to transfer power in Gaza by December 1. That deadline was initially put back by 10 days and then appeared to have been cancelled altogether after it reportedly hit “obstacles”.
The two groups have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas took over Gaza in a bloody coup. All attempts to reconcile the sides have failed.
The two key issued that have derailed previous reconciliation attempts are the payments to employees in Gaza as well as the future of Hamas's vast armed wing.
Abbas has demanded that the armed militias in Gaza disarm as part of the implementation of the agreement, but Hamas has categorically rejected this demand.