Fatah has rejected an offer from Hamas to participate in the government of the Gaza Strip. The offer was made by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. In response, Fatah said that it is considering "painful decisions" against Hamas rule.
Speaking to journalists in Ramallah, Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said, "Haniyeh's offer is a repudiation of strategic unity agreements." He refused to get involved in talks about confederation as an exit strategy for the internal Palestinian division.
Mr Haniyeh made his call for Palestinian factions to be part of the expansion of the Hamas-led government last Wednesday. "We open our arms to all for the expansions [of representation] in the government, not because we fear anything but because it is based on looking to the future with hope."
While a number of factions accepted the call and regard it as a plus point for Hamas in terms of reconciliation, Al-Ahmad noted, "Fatah has not yet setup any certain plan for dealing with Hamas." He criticised the positive response of the other factions, saying that Fatah is looking at "painful" choices to end the division.
Insisting that Fatah is serious about reconciliation, Al-Ahmad rejected any connection between ending the division and the peace talks with the Israelis.
"Fatah's vision for the Palestinian state is based on the strategy of national, geographic and demographic unity for a globally-recognised Palestine," he explained.