Hamas Denies Sabotaging Cairo Unity Talks (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gavriel Queenann 02/24/12)
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Hamas on Thursday tried to dismiss reports the terror movement was
attempting to strong-arm PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas into accepting new
terms for a proposed reconciliation deal with Fatah.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told the Bethleham-based Maan News
Agency that Hamas was moving forward with the unity deal hammered out
by Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal in Doha.
"We don’t have any demands which would block the reconciliation,"
Barhoum said. "Any amendment to be added by Fatah or Hamas is to
protect the process of reconciliation."
However, Issam Abu Dakka, a leader in the Democratic Front for the
Liberation of Palestine, told Maan that Hamas had levied new demands
in Fatah-Hamas talks currently underway in Cairo.
"Hamas has requirements on appointing ministers and that might
postpone the formation of a new government, which was supposed to be
discussed on Thursday in Cairo."
"Hamas wants to have 51 percent of ministers and wants to control
three ministries: finance, interior and justice," he said. "It also
demands that a deputy for the prime minister be named."
Other demands that emerged in Cairo reportedly included naming a Gaza-
based deputy to Abbas and making his appointment as prime minister
conditional on a vote of confidence in the parliament.
"Hamas demanded to keep the key ministries in the new government,
including the ministry of interior," said another official. "It also
demanded no change in the structure of security services in the Gaza
The official added Hamas "was not prepared to abandon control of
Gaza." In essence, the new terms allow Hamas to retain sole control
over Gaza while giving it significant influence in the running of PA
enclaves in Judea and Samaria.
Analysts say Abbas is almost certain to reject Hamas´ new terms
The new demands underscore a growing rift between Hamas´ political
leadership outside of Gaza and officials in the Hamas-ruled enclave
over the terror group´s direction resulted in sharp criticism for the
At an internal meeting chaired by Mashaal in Cairo on Wednesday,
Hamas officials reportedly presented Mashaal with a united demand for
new terms for a unity government with Fatah.
Mashaal has tentatively accepted the notion of a state on the 1967
borders, and offered Abbas a one-year mandate for negotiations with
Israel – though his fellow politburo members maintain any agreement
with Israel will only serve as a “prelude to war.”
However, Hamas’ Gaza chief Ismail Haniyeh maintains that all talks
with Israel are “futile” and believes the tide of the Arab Spring
will lead to victory in the movement’s armed quest to destroy the
Some observers have noted that the internal Hamas rift and sudden
altering of terms in Cairo mirrors Israel´s dilemma in restarting
long-moribund peace talks with the PLO, saying it is "like
negotiating with a hydra."
PLO officials have at once made a show of seeking talks, insisted on
onerous preconditions before talks begin, launched a unilateral
statehood bid at the United Nations, and pursued reconciliation with
Hamas and its terror confederates. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012
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