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Fatah slams PFLP leader's skepticism on unity deal

April 4, 2012 4:44 P.M. (Updated: April 6, 2012 9:57 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Fatah hit back at the PFLP on Wednesday, after the leftist faction described their reconciliation initiative with former rivals Hamas as a sham.

Popular Front politburo member Rabah Muhanna said in a statement Tuesday: "Hamas and Fatah are lying to each other, and to the Palestinian people."

"Any future meetings (between the parties) will be more lies and a waste of time."

Fatah leader Amin Maqboul said Wednesday Muhanna's remarks were "inflammatory and defamatory," and called on the PFLP leader to stop acting like a teacher or judge.

Muhanna had no right to make the remarks, and is trying to make it seem his faction cares about reconciliation the most, Maqboul, the secretary-general of the Fatah revolutionary council, added.

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo in May 2011, agreeing to form a unity government within a year, but the parties then sparred for months over who should lead the administration.

The appointment of Abbas as prime minister in February sparked a rift within Hamas, as the party's Gaza-based leaders raised objections to the president's appointment.

Abbas told Ma'an on Thursday that unity was "frozen" because some Hamas leaders rejected the Doha agreement. Hamas leaders insist they remain committed to reconciliation.

Fatah and Hamas have led rival governments in the West Bank and Gaza since their violent split in 2007.

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