Ali Waked
October 7, 2009 - 12:00am,7340,L-3786922,00.html

The Hamas movement is considering asking Egypt to delay a meeting of rival Palestinian factions and the signing of a reconciliation agreement scheduled for October 26, following the Palestinian Authority's decision to defer a United Nations Human Rights Council vote on the Goldstone Report, which accused Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes in Gaza.

Senior Hamas member in the Strip, Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar, said Wednesday that his movement was forming its opinion following the PA's handling of the report. Sources in Hamas called on the organization's leaders not to attend the meeting in protest of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' stance on the matter.

Senior Hamas member Dr. Salah Bardawil urged the organization, from within the Palestinian parliament, not to take part in the conference.

"How will we shake the hands of people who helped those who committed the crimes in Gaza evade the international law system?" he asked.

Other senior movement members said it would be hard to carry out a meeting of handshakes with people who cooperates with Israel in torpedoing the Goldstone Report.

Nonetheless, the Hamas organization has yet to form a final opinion, and there are those within the movement who believe Egypt must not be asked to postpone the conference.

Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah faction in the parliament, who is representing his movement in the talks, said that Hamas was seeking to take advantage of the wave of protest over the handling of the Goldstone Report in order to make political gains and evade the commitments of the Palestinian dialogue.

The UN Security Council was expected to convene Wednesday evening for consultations, in order to decide whether or not to accept Libya's request to discuss the Goldstone Report. Abbas welcomed the Libyan move on Tuesday, saying that it supports the rights of the Palestinian people.


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