Hamas says too early to talk about "government of tasks"

Israel Materials 22 April 2009 15:11 (UTC +04:00)

A Hamas leader on Wednesday said it was still too early to predict that inter-Palestinian dialogue would come up with forming a "government of tasks."

"We can't talk about such a government without discussing this issue with the Egyptians," who have been mediating talks between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers on cease-fires and a prisoner swap, said Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader based in Gaza, Xinhua reported.

Long-time rival Hamas and Fatah factions will return to Cairo on April 26 to resume their reconciliation dialogue, Zahar said.

In Cairo-hosted talks, Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement have agreed to form committees to try to resolve their differences and create a unity government that would prepare for a general election early next year.

They, however, failed to agree on the government's political program as Hamas insisted that it would not commit to previous agreements between the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Israel.
Hamas has proposed the formation of a government that has " specific tasks" away from politics as a compromise.

The latest round of meetings between Fatah and Hamas in early April was suspended for three weeks as Egypt proposed the formation of a national committee to liaise between the deposed Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian government of West Bank.

The political split between Hamas and Fatah widened in June 2007 after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip by force from Fatah-dominated security forces. Fatah retains control of the PNA in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.