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Fatah signs Palestinian unity deal, Hamas wants more time

Last Updated: Friday, October 16, 2009 - 00:17

Cairo: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas`s
Fatah party on Thursday gave a signed copy of a proposed unity
accord with rivals Hamas to Egyptian mediators, as the
Islamists asked for more time to consider the deal.

"I handed over the signed agreement and said what I had
to say," Fatah negotiator Azzam al-Ahmed told AFP. "Now we are
waiting for Hamas`s response."

He said after meeting Egyptian mediators that today was
the deadline for signing the deal, and that there would be
another meeting later in the day "to study what further steps
are to be taken."

Hamas said earlier it wanted more time to study the deal
and demanded that the accord include a clause on the right to
resist Israeli occupation.

"Hamas has officially asked Egypt to give it two to three
days to complete its internal consultations," the Hamas-run
government spokesman Taher al-Nunu told AFP in the Gaza Strip.

A Damascus-based spokesman for Hamas and other hardline
groups also criticised the agreement earlier, saying it "lacks
a political vision concerning the conflict (with Israel) and
the aggression against our people."

"The Palestinian factions will not sign the accord...
unless the text includes the principles and the rights of
Palestinians, especially that of resisting the Zionist
occupation," Khaled Abdel Majid said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, October 16, 2009 - 00:17
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