March 21, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party on Sunday denied reports that Egypt has started to work to support Abbas’ expected visit to the Gaza Strip, Xinhua reported on Monday.
The denial comes as the Islamic Hamas movement, Fatah’s bitter rival that controls Gaza, said that efforts should push for comprehensive national dialogue between the Hamas and the Fatah rather than achieving Abbas declaration about his readiness to visit Gaza.
Local media said Sunday that Egypt, which had mediated several times for a compromise between the Hamas and the Fatah, was planning to send a security delegation to Gaza as part of preparations for Abbas’ visit, to be the first one since the Hamas ousted the Fatah party and took over Gaza in 2007, leaving the Palestinian National Authority confined to the West Bank.
However, a Fatah official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Fatah “did not have any information about a new Egyptian role and was not informed about it.” He added envoys from the Fatah briefed Egyptian officials on Abbas’ plans to visit Gaza to end the political split between the coastal enclave and the West Bank.
“The Egyptians welcomed the president’s suggestion” that the Hamas should accept the formation of a unity government preparing for elections in six months, the Fatah official told Xinhua.
Meanwhile, Taher Al-Nounou, a spokesman for the Hamas government, said Hamas welcomes Abbas’ readiness to visit Gaza, but it “stresses the need for dialogue.”
Abbas said he will not renew negotiations with the Hamas, when unveiling his proposal on Wednesday. A day earlier, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya invited Abbas for a meeting to launch new national dialogue. Abbas says the Hamas must accept his proposal to form the technocratic government and elections. (*)