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Islamic Jihad: 5 week waiting period could hinder reconciliation

April 23, 2014 10:16 P.M. (Updated: April 26, 2014 7:02 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A senior official of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said on Wednesday that the five-week period set by parties to form a national unity government had the potential to derail the agreement.

Senior member of Islamic Jihad Khalid al-Batsh warned on his Facebook page that the five-week period could lead to another freeze in the implementation of the reconciliation agreement.

"This period will give a chance for anyone who does not want the achievement of reconciliation to take negative steps and steps that would hinder reconciliation," he said.

He said that these obstructions could come from a number of sources, including "American pressure or Israeli actions against our people," or by "those who benefit from the continuing division in Gaza and the West Bank."

He called on the two sides to "immediately start the implementation and reconsider the five-week period and to consider the two governments interim until the unity government and all other reconciliation files are completed."

Al-Batsh's statements come hours after the Fatah-led Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas announced a national reconciliation deal that could potentially end seven years of political division between the largest Palestinian parties.

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