Hamas, Fatah close to agreement on joint political platform
Rival Palestinian factions are close to reach an agreement that might avoid a referendum showdown between President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement and governing Hamas. A deal between the sides could lead Abbas to abandon plans for a July 26 referendum on a statehood proposal that implicitly recognizes Israel.
"If we agree, that's better for us and for the Palestinian people, and there won't be any need for the referendum," Abbas said during a visit to Cairo, according to Reuters. Ghazi Hamad, the spokesman for the Hamas-led cabinet confirmed Sunday morning that the factions were close to reaching agreement on a political platform that they could all accept. He noted that Hamas "would never agree to fight its brothers in Hamas".
It would be based on the proposal, first drawn up by prisoners in an Israeli jail, that Abbas plans to put to a referendum. On his part, parliament speaker Aziz Dweik, who is from Hamas, said "The national dialogue is developing into an agreement and within two days there will be a signing on the prisoners' document which will become the national consensus."
Agreement on the document might pave the way for the formation of a national unity government.