Fatah leader Nabil Shaath said Friday that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s invitation to party leaders to meet in the Gaza Strip was a positive step, saying he appreciates the move.
“We will be happy if this invitation resolves our dispute and corresponds to the agreement of a new Palestinian government,” the Fatah Central Committee member told Ma’an.
Haniyeh called on Palestinian leaders to visit the Gaza Strip, saying they all have a right to visit the enclave as part of an undivided Palestine, at a meeting with leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on Thursday.
Shaath said Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas loves Gaza and is excited to visit, although he is currently on an international tour.
“At the same time, Abbas does not need an invitation to go to an area under his presidency,” Shaath commented.
Hamas and Fatah have been at bitter odds since fracturing into separate governments in 2007, a year after Hamas won elections and was shunned by the international community.
The latest push to kickstart a reconciliation deal between the parties saw party leaders agree to form a transitional government to oversee fresh elections, but its appointment has been postponed. Each party blames the other for the delay in naming the cabinet.
Shaath told Ma’an that Hamas had asked Abbas for a further two weeks in order to strengthen an internal consensus on the new government, which Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal agreed would be headed by Abbas.
Hamas officials have said that it was Abbas who requested the delay.