A senior Hamas official has blamed Fatah for the delay in national reconciliation. Mousa Abu Marzouk linked the lack of progress to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resume negotiations.
In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Abu Marzouk said, “Whenever the doors close on negotiations with the Israeli occupation, they attack Hamas and bring up reconciliation.”
Abu Marzouk was responding to a statement by a member of the Fatah central committee, Mohammad Shtayyeh, in which he announced that Fatah will begin preparations for the presidential and legislative elections if Hamas “remains uncommitted” to the implementation of reconciliation agreements.
“When has Hamas not implemented what had been agreed upon?” asked Abu Marzouk. “Please refer to the agreements in order for us to verify where the problem lies.”
The recent delays in the implementation of the articles agreed upon in Egypt are due to Mr Kerry’s request, he insisted. “The reason for this is no longer a secret; it was in order for President Obama’s visit to go smoothly and then to make a breakthrough in negotiations with the [Israelis].”
Addressing Shtayyeh directly, Abu Marzouk then said, “The matter does not call for threats; you have carried out local elections without Jerusalem and Gaza before, and you can do it again.”
The Hamas official noted that national reconciliation is the goal and that the elections will be a result of achieving that goal. “Hamas is committed to each document it has signed and hopes that this will be a national priority.”