Hamas-Fatah deal 'to be delayed'

Egyptian foreign minister says signing of unity pact could be delayed until November.

    Abbas has been heavily criticised by Hamas over the response to the UN's Goldstone report [Getty Images]

    Hamas also came in for criticism in the 575-page report.

    About 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during the conflict.

    Hamas, the group which runs the Gaza Strip, has castigated Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah and the president of the Palestinian Authority which rules the occupied West Bank, over the delay in endorsing Goldstone's report at the UN Human Rights Council.

    Endorsement of the report could have facilitated the eventual prosecution of Israeli officials responsible for the atrocities.

    Hamas said that the decision "betrayed" the Palestinian victims of the offensive.

    The long-delayed Palestinian deal would allow for co-operation in reconstruction of the Gaza Strip that was heavily bombarded in the offensive and prepare for elections in the first six months of 2010.

    Tensions between Hamas and Fatah have been high since the former won parliamentary polls in January 2006 and then expelled pro-Fatah forces from Gaza in June 2007.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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