Official: Hamas delegation to overcome new obstacles in dialogue

GAZA, Nov. 4 – Islamic Hamas movement on Tuesday said its delegation in Cairo would overcome new obstacles that emerged in the way of national Palestinian dialogue. The dialogue, sponsored by Egypt, aims at achieving reconciliation between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement.

Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader who headed for Cairo on Monday, said the delegation intends to “smooth these obstacles as much as possible” without discussing the Egyptian-drafted agenda of the dialogue.

Zahar did not elaborate the obstacles but he strongly criticized the continuation of the crackdown by Fatah-dominated security forces against Hamas supporters in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, Maan News, a local news agency, reported that Hamas has threatened to boycott the dialogue if the arrests against its members in the West Bank continue.

Since Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and took over control of Gaza Strip in 2007, the two sides launched crackdown against their dissidents — Hamas supporters in the West Bank and Fatah activists in the Gaza Strip.

The dialogue is scheduled to take place in Cairo on Nov. 9, involving 12 Palestinian factions. But well-informed Palestinian sources said on Monday that Egypt has decided to postpone it until Nov. 11 for “technical reasons.”

Hamas has reservations on the Egyptian plan for the dialogue which envisions the formation of a unity government, reforming the security forces and holding early elections.

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