Egypt slams Hamas delaying of unity deal
An Egyptian official accused Hamas of bad faith over its refusal to ink a unity deal with Fatah on schedule, a state-owned daily reported on Sunday. “Egypt was surprised by Hamas’ procrastination when it said it could not come to Cairo on the planned date,” the Al-Ahram newspaper quoted the official as saying.
“The delay to reconciliation and the fact that Hamas has stirred up such a terrifying atmosphere in the Palestinian territories shows that Hamas lacks good faith and has its own agenda,” the official said.
Meanwhile, a Hamas official said on Sunday that the delay was because Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who negotiated it, was out of the country. Hamas has also postponed its delegation visit to Cairo that was originally scheduled for Sunday due to the absence of Suleiman. Ayman Taha, a senior Hamas' leader in Gaza, said in a statement late Saturday that Hamas deferred the visit due to an Egyptian request.
According to Taha, Hamas will deliver its reply to the Egyptian reconciliation proposal as soon as Suleiman returns to Egypt. A Hamas delegation led by deputy political bureau chief Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk was scheduled in Cairo on Sunday to hand its final response to the Egyptian proposal.
On his part, Osama Hamdan, Hamas' representative in Lebanon, said that the new Egyptian proposal included ideas not agreed upon in the earlier paper. He told Al-Jazeera TV network on Saturday night that contacts were made with the Egyptian officials on means of discussing the new ideas.