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Hamas asks to postpone reconciliation meeting

Feb. 24, 2013 9:53 P.M. (Updated: March 10, 2013 10:04 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas has asked to postpone its next meeting with Fatah to ensure the talks will be positive, the party's deputy politburo chief said Sunday.

Mousa Abu Marzouq said in a statement that Hamas requested to delay the meeting scheduled to be held in Cairo on Wednesday.

Fatah spokesman in Gaza, Fayez Abu Aita, said Hamas' request was not helpful to reconciliation, and that the time frame set for national unity should be respected.

He urged Hamas to take its commitment to implementing reconciliation agreements seriously.

A recent televised row between Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmad and Hamas' Aziz Dweik has escalated tensions between the parties.

At a symposium organized by the PLO, the rival officials disagreed on the success of reconciliation efforts, with al-Ahmad claiming that reconciliation had come "very close" and Dweik stating that "no tangible breakthrough" had been made.

Both officials tried to undermine the achievements of their rival faction, with Dweik claiming Fatah had begun as as armed resistance faction but was now coordinating on security with Israel.

The Hamas official lauded the resistance achievements of the Islamist group, noting the group's ability to launch rockets at Tel Aviv in fighting last November.

At that point Hamas officials withdrew from the meeting.

Palestinian officials said recently that reconciliation meetings in Cairo had fallen short of expectations, with some questioning whether either faction had the will to end the political division.

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