Representatives of Hamas and Fatah will meet in Cairo next week to discuss a timetable and mechanisms for implementing Palestinian reconciliation agreements signed in 2012, a Hamas official said late Wednesday night.
Izzat Rishq, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, said that both sides agreed on reactivating and expanding the Palestine Liberation Organization in the first week of February, to discuss the practicalities of reconciliation within a wider Palestinian framework.
Leaders of rival Palestinian movements Hamas and Fatah met in Cairo on Wednesday under the auspices of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in a bid to end a five-year political split. Egyptian General Intelligence director Raafat Shehata attended the talks between Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal and PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
In Cairo, Abbas cited Hamas’s ongoing objection to voter registry in the Gaza Strip as the main stumbling block to reconciliation. He claimed that some 300,000 Gaza residents have not been accounted for in the Gaza voter registry since the last elections in 2006.
Hamas, for its part, objects to the Palestinian Authority’s security coordination with Israel and accuses the West Bank government of continuous harassment and arrest of Hamas activists.
Meanwhile, in a further sign of improvement in relations between Hamas and its opposition in Gaza, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh scheduled a meeting with faction leaders Thursday afternoon. Ma’an news agency reported that a Fatah representative, Atef Abu-Seif, had been invited to the meeting.