Fatah signs Palestinian unity deal, Hamas wants more time
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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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