Hamas to reject Egyptian draft if reservations not considered

GAZA, Nov. 4 – Hamas on Tuesday said it will reject the Egyptian plan aimed at reconciling the Islamic movement with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement if Hamas’ reservations were not considered. The Egyptian draft is part of its efforts to end widening crisis between the two movements.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, said his movement “would not accept signing on an Egyptian paper that holds numerous pending problems.”

The Egyptian draft urges Hamas to recognize the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole representative of the Palestinians. It also asks Hamas to accept reforming security services, forming transitional unity government with Fatah and holding elections. But Hamas, which won elections in 2006, said it has reservations on the plan.

The Egyptian plan is scheduled to be discussed by the Palestinian factions in Cairo on Nov. 9. There are also sources saying it will be held on Nov. 10 or 11.

Abu Zuhri said that Hamas’ decision to participate in the dialogue would be made after Hamas officials meet Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who arranges with the factions in Cairo on Tuesday.

Egypt rejected to amend the document according to Hamas’ reservations. Abu Zuhri said Hamas leaders will discuss the document and the reservations again on Tuesday.

The Cairo dialogue would be the first official meeting between Hamas and Fatah since the Islamic movement routed pro-Abbas forces and seized Gaza Strip in June 2007.

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