Hamas agrees to form national reconciliation government

Israel Materials 10 October 2008 02:28 (UTC +04:00)

Palestinian Islamists who met with Egyptian mediators have agreed to form a government of "national reconciliation," not one of national unity, Hamas leader Mahmoud al- Zahar said Thursday, dpa reported.

The government of national reconciliation "might include members of other Palestinian factions along with Hamas and Fatah," Zahar told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

He declined to explain how the powers of both Hamas and Fatah would be divided in such a government. "We do not want to go into those details now."

A delegation of senior Hamas members arrived Tuesday in Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials, aimed at brokering Palestinian national reconciliation, including a halt to the Hamas-Fatah power struggle in Gaza and the West Bank.

Zahar said committees would be formed for the elections as well as to examine controversial issues and rebuild the security agencies.

"There will be a committee for each controversial issue between the parties involved in the peace talks," he said.

The committees are to be formed after the bilateral meeting between Fatah and Hamas delegates on October 25.

"All issues are inter-linked. It is a single package - either to reach a full agreement or no agreement at all, which is a concept approved by everyone," Zahar said.

Egypt has been holding talks with leaders of different Palestinian factions in a bid to end political separation between the Hamas- controlled Gaza Strip and the Palestinian National Authority-ruled West Bank.