Palestinian unity deal a mistake: Gaza Hamas leader

Palestinian unity deal a mistake: Gaza Hamas leader Cairo: Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahar slammed a Palestinian unity deal as a "mistake" that has thrown the Islamist movement into crisis, in an interview with Egypt's official MENA agency published on Sunday.

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal signed an agreement with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas earlier this month placing Abbas at the head of an interim government charged with organising elections later this year.

The decision to have Abbas head the government "is a mistake," Zahar told MENA. "No one inside the Hamas movement was consulted."

The deal signed in Qatar ends a long-running disagreement over the premiership that stalled Palestinian reconciliation, but Zahar said that "practically it cannot be implemented."

"If the consultations took place among the small circle around the political bureau (headed by Meshaal abroad), then this is unacceptable," he said.

The agreement "needs to be reviewed, so Hamas leaders at home and abroad will meet over the issue in the coming two days." He said after a series of discussions with Hamas officials and MPs "we found that many feel there is a real crisis."

The agreement struck by Meshaal's foreign-based leadership with Abbas's secular Fatah faction has run into serious opposition from Hamas members inside the Gaza Strip, which the movement has controlled since ousting the president's loyalists in 2007.