Ma'an News Agency
February 16, 2010 - 1:00am

A Palestinian reconciliation agreement could be signed within a few days under Egyptian supervision, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Az-Zahhar announced Monday night.

Following a celebration of educational institutions in Gaza City, Zahhar told reporters, "It is obvious that Egypt understands ... that the Egyptian reconciliation document needs amendment. I expect the issue to be reconsidered and a signing to be secured."

The reconciliation process broke down during the fall when Hamas said the final unity document drafted by Egypt did not include several points that had been agreed on during talks. Party representatives insisted on making amendments to the agreement before they would sign it. Egypt never responded officially to the request to change the paper, and Fatah members signed the deal amid a government debacle at the UN Human Rights Commission.

Az-Zahhar said Palestinian factions were still visiting Egyptian mediators periodically, but that Hamas delegations had been excluded. There were some recent positive moves, however, he said, including the meeting of 13 factions in Gaza during the visit of Fatah official Nabil Sha'th two weeks ago.

The official quashed recent rumors of a joint Fatah-Hamas agreement around a joint force at the Rafah crossing, saying "it is too early at this stage to talk about Rafah."


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