A Hamas official Saturday ruled out the
possibility that the Palestinian reconciliation will take place
this year, blaming mainly Israel and the US for blocking it.
Salah Al-Bardawil, a member of the Islamic movement's politburo,
said that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), led by Fatah
party, is being "financially and politically blacklisted by Israel
and America to prevent the reconciliation," reported Xinhua.
Some observers and analysts also saw differences inside Hamas
itself, especially referring to the clear opposition from its
Gaza-based leaders against the agreement that Qatar brokered
between Hamas' politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and PNA President
and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Rejecting reports about the differences inside Hamas, Al-Bardawil
told Xinhua that Fatah "refuses to admit the reality of external
pressure it faces and blames Hamas for the failure of the
The Qatari-brokered pact, known as the Doha declaration, is the
latest in a series of deals to reconcile Hamas and Fatah. The
deal, reached in February, authorizes Abbas to form an interim
government that will rule the West Bank and the Hamas-controlled
Gaza Strip until elections.
Hamas and Fatah agreed on a joint vision about having a
Palestinian state on the territories that Israel occupied in 1967
and adopting nonviolent resistance against Israel. However, their
differences emerged on forming an interim government and holding
Fatah accuses Hamas of blocking preparations for the elections in
Gaza by preventing the Central Elections Commission (CEC) from
updating voter records.
Al-Bardawil said elections could happen only when the Palestinians
got assurances that Israel would let East Jerusalem residents to
vote and Hamas candidates in the West Bank would not be chased
down by the Israeli army.
"Abbas told us that he requested an Israeli approval, but he did
not get an answer so far," Al-Bardawil said, adding that he does
not expect the elections to be held this year.
For a better Palestinian reconciliation, the Arab states should
form "a safety net" to secure financial aid for the PNA if the
Western donors suspend their contributions for a government
involving Hamas, said Al-Bardawil.
Al-Bardawil also said that the political siege on his movement had
led to the ongoing crisis in Gaza, which resulted in frequent
lacks of fuel, electricity and public services.
"The siege aims at toppling Hamas, but Hamas is going in the right
direction despite all these conspiracies," the Hamas official
said, adding that European countries "will eventually have to deal
with a strong Hamas which has rooted in the Palestinian people
with a big effect in the Arab and Islamic states".