Fatah, Hamas officials to meet in Cairo soon
Fatah and Hamas officials are scheduled to meet in Cairo by the beginning of October for further dialogue over reconciliation talks and political issues, Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmad said Monday.
Head of Fatah's national dialogue team Al-Ahmad stated that President Abbas had said he would move forward reconciliation efforts after he had returned from New York, where he submitted Palestine's application for full UN membership on Friday, Ma'an reported.
A ban by Hamas on rallies in Gaza to support the UN bid had no influence on reconciliation efforts, al-Ahmad added.
Dozens of women reportedly defied the ban and demonstrated in support of the UN bid.
Hamas had previously said that it would not back a UN membership bid, and warned that no Palestinian leader had a mandate to sacrifice fundamental Palestinian rights.
But the leader of the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip stressed that Hamas would "not place obstacles in the way of the establishment of a Palestinian state with full sovereignty."
A reconciliation deal was signed between Hamas and Fatah in Cairo on May 4 and set out a path for the creation of a transitional government of technocrats and an end to the animosity which has split the Palestinians into two camps since 2007.
In a separate matter, PLO official Saeb Erekat told the official Radio of Palestine that the Palestinian Authority will respond to a proposal by the Middle East Quarter after the PLO Executive Committee convenes on Wednesday.
"Up to this moment, the Israeli government is not a partner for peace, but a government which wants only to give dictations," he added, reiterating that the Palestinians will not resume negotiations without a clear framework based on the 1967 borders and a full cessation of settlement activities.
The Quartet issued a statement Friday calling on Palestinians and Israel to resume direct peace talks within a month and commit to seeking a deal by the end of 2012. The proposal did not mention a settlement freeze.
Anonymous sources said Monday that the issue of Israel as Jewish state ultimately sank diplomatic efforts to draft a substantive statement to revive peace talks.
Israel has occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem since 1967, in violation of international law.