Egypt determined to end Palestinian crisis by October

GAZA, Egypt and the Arab League (AL) will not allow Palestinian political crisis to go on beyond October, Palestinian sources said on Saturday. According to the sources, Egypt informed the feuding Palestinian factions about its intention to settle the political split between Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Fatah-dominated West Bank by October.

The Egyptian decision was briefed to several Palestinian factions who went to Cairo over the past two weeks to present their views on how to settle the Hamas-Fatah crisis which widened when Hamas, last year, routed the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) forces in Gaza Strip and took over the territory.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who heads Fatah movement, consolidated his power in the West Bank and Hamas tightened its grip on Gaza.

Egypt, which negotiates a solution for the crisis, still did not invite Hamas and Fatah to hear verbally from them on Cairo’s efforts to broker a national Palestinian reconciliation.

According to the sources, Egypt said that the Palestinian crisis “is now threatening the Egyptian and the Arab national security and can not be tolerated any more.”

After the end of Muslim’s holy fasting month of Ramadan, “intensive meetings will be held under the supervision of the AL to come out with a formula of solution,” the sources said, quoting Egyptian officials.

President Abbas told Egypt that he doesn’t oppose any effort to strike a reconciliation that reunited the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. However, he considers this effort as the last peaceful solution and, if failed, he will “take all steps and procedures to restore Gaza before the end of this year.”

Abbas welcomed an Egyptian proposal to dispatch Arab forces in Gaza to support the diplomatic efforts for reconciliation. But Hamas made it clear that it rejects such forces and will deal with them as an occupation power.

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