Abbas call for Palestinian reconciliation meaningless: Hamas

Other News Materials 29 July 2008 00:17 (UTC +04:00)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' call for reconciliation talks between his Fatah party and its rival Hamas is "meaningless," deputy Hamas head Mussa Abu-Marzouk said Monday, dpa reported.

Hamas supports such reconcilation talks with Fatah, but Abbas' call for Palestinian unity coincides with a series of arrests by his Fatah-dominated security forces of Hamas supporters in the West Bank, Abu-Marzouk said.

"They (Fatah) target national and social organizations, which help the people of Palestine," he said in the statement from his Damascus-based office.

Abu-Marzouk is the deputy head of Hamas' Damascus-based political bureau in exile, led by Khaled Mashaal.

Abbas said in Cairo on Sunday that he had agreed for Egypt to oversee talks between his Fatah and its rival Hamas without pre-conditions.

He had previously made any talks with Hamas conditional on it first reversing its violent, June 2007 take-over of the Gaza Strip and an apology for the event, which he has called a "coup."

But his announcement comes amid new tensions between the two groups after a car bombing in Gaza Friday for which Hamas blamed Fatah.

Hamas has since arrested more than 160 Fatah supporters in Gaza, while Abbas' Fatah-dominated security forces have arrested at least 50 Hamas supporters in the West Bank.