Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told a visiting Swiss delegation there would be no return to Hamas-Fatah unity talks following the Eid Al-Adha holiday.
The announcement followed long on the heels of reports in October that Fatah and Hamas would be invited back to Cairo to continue unity talks. Rumors about “going back to dialogue after the Eid are only media reports; until now and we have not received any official invitation,” Haniyeh told the civilian delegation.
The last talks fell apart, ending with Fatah signing the Egyptian plan as the UN Human Rights Council debated whether or not to accept the Palestinian Authority plea to hold a vote on the postponed Goldstone report. Hamas officials refused to sign the document, saying it prefered to register some reservations before signing.
Both sides said the Egyptian plan was not what they had expected it to be, but Fatah exuberantly signed the deal and announced that the ball was in Hamas’ court. Speaking to the Swiss, Haniyeh said “the notes that have were agreed upon [between Egypt and Hamas] may have been left out by mistake from the final proposal,” and added that Hamas “asks our brothers to confirm only on what have been agreed upon.”
In late October Hamas officials were set to travel to Cairo to discuss their reservations, but were not permitted to do so as Egyptian mediators mulled their role in the thrice-failed unity talks.
Haniyeh commented on what he called several “internal Fatah crises” including the failed elections call, the failed peace talk efforts with Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas’ announcement that he would not seek reelection. “The only way to fix these fractures,” Haniyeh said, “is through reconciliation.”