Fatah says received Egyptian offer to sign Palestinian deal in mid- October
A Fatah official said on Monday his party has received an Egyptian offer suggesting to sign a Palestinian reconciliation deal in the middle of this month, Xinhua reported.
President Mahmoud Abbas "had received the offer Sunday evening, " Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior Fatah official, told Voice of Palestine radio.
"The new document advances the date of signing an agreement ending the internal split, but delays the celebration ceremonies to November," al-Ahmad added.
He said Fatah will sign on a draft of the deal on Oct. 15.
Egypt, which sponsors the dialogue between Fatah and Islamic Hamas movement, has initially set Oct. 25 as the date to declare the reconciliation in Cairo but Hamas has asked to put off the ceremony.
Conflicting reports have been seen recently over the final date of signing the Palestinian reconciliation pact.
The Islamic Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, has asked the Egyptian sponsor for delaying signing the pact and said Egypt has accepted the request.
Hamas was in protest to the Fatah-led Palestinian National Authority's (PNA) support for delaying a UN vote on a report condemning Israel for war crimes in Israel's winter war in Gaza.
On Sunday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit was quoted by local Nile news as saying that the declaration of the reconciliation deal might be delayed for several weeks, saying Palestinian factions have requested the delay, without disclosing which factions made the requests.
The Egyptian efforts aim to restore political unity to Gaza and the West Bank and to hold Palestinian elections in the middle of 2010 to boost the reconciliation.