Request follows PA's support for deferral of UN vote on Goldstone Report. 'Palestinian people won't have mercy on us if we reconcile with those who failed to protect their rights,' Islamist group says
Hamas has asked to delay a scheduled meeting with Fatah, during which the rival Palestinian groups are set to sign a reconciliation charter.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Monday that the meeting will take place in Cairo on October 25.
Senior Hamas figure Salah Bardawil said the request to postpone the meeting stems from the Palestinian Authority's decision to support the deferral of a UN Human Rights Council vote on the Goldstone Report, which accused Israel and Palestinian gunmen of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during their Dec. 27-Jan. 18 conflict in Gaza.
The UN council in Geneva was scheduled to vote last week on passing the report to the General Assembly for further action, but it decided instead to delay the decision until March, after what officials described as "intense diplomacy" from the United States.
During a session of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Bardawil blasted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, saying, "The people won't have mercy on us if we (reconcile) with those who failed to protect the nation's rights."
Halil al-Haya, another senior Hamas figure, called on the Palestinian parliament to investigate the decision regarding the Goldstone Report vote and find out who was responsible for it. He also called to dismiss and prosecute the Palestinian envoy to the UN in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraisha.
Hamas drove Abbas' forces out of Gaza in 2007, leaving him in control of only the West Bank. Repeated reconciliation efforts have failed, complicating peace efforts with Israel.
Egypt has been leading the mediation efforts.