Hamas and Fatah leaders applauded progress in the unity deal between their parties after meeting in Cairo on Sunday, but sounded a note of caution that more work was yet to be done to end the division.
Fatah national relations official Azzam A-Ahmad told reporters in the Egyptian capital that the summit continued the positive atmosphere reached after party leader President Mahmoud Abbas met with his Hamas counterpart Khalid Mashaal on Nov. 24.
“But that does not mean that there are not some who want to put obstacles in the way of success … we must redouble our efforts to implement what was agreed” by Mashaal and Abbas, he said.
Hamas politburo member Izzat Rishiq noted the hardships suffered by the Palestinian people under the ongoing divison between the Hamas-led government in Gaza and Fatah-dominated cabinet in the West Bank.
“Fatah are our brothers, and we will continue (with reconciliation) until the end,” he assured after the Cairo meeting, while cautioning against false hopes.
Rishiq said the parties have pledged “confidence-building measures” and to realize the terms of the deal after the upcoming meetings between all Palestinian factions in Cairo on Dec. 20, and PLO members two days later.
Palestinian political groups have called this week’s meetings in Cairo the last chance for implementation of the Egypt-brokered reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas, which was signed in May.
Seven months later, the factions say nothing has moved on the ground to implement the terms of the deal that would end four years of divided government.