Palestinians to 'sign unity deal'

Egyptian foreign minister says reconciliation deal to be signed on October 26.

    Ismail Haniya on Monday said Palestinian unity was difficult under 'present circumstances' [AFP]

    Egypt had twice postponed the scheduled date for the signing of a reconciliation agreement because of continuing disagreements between Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian factions.

    New tension

    Monday's announcement comes amid new tension between Abbas's Palestinian Authority and Hamas over the PA's support for delaying the endorsement of a UN report compiled by former international war crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone, on possible war crimes committed during Israel's offensive in Gaza.

    Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, accused Abbas of making an "absurd and criminal" decision to delay endorsement of the report.

    "How can the two parties [Fatah and Hamas] sit at one table and sign an agreement in this situation? ... This has placed a heavy obstacle in the way of Palestinian unity," he said on Monday.

    But Abul Gheit was confident that it would not halt the signing and said: "I think that the Goldstone issue is not likely to affect Palestinian reconciliation."

    Hamas and Fatah have been in dispute since Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007 after 18 months of coalition government.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.