December 6, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement and its bitter rival Fatah party still argue over holding another round of dialogue to reach an inter-reconciliation deal and end their split, a Hamas official said Monday.

Salah el-Bardaweel, a Gaza-based Hamas leader, told Xinhua that the contacts between Hamas and Fatah over setting up a date for holding another round of reconciliation dialogue are severed "and haven't led yet to anything new."

Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip since it seized control of the enclave by force in 2007, had so far failed to end their disputes and rifts.

"The ball is at Fatah playground to set up a date for resuming the Palestinian dialogue," said al-Bardaweel, who denied earlier reports that the two rival groups agreed to hold a meeting in Damascus by the end of this month.

He added that "so far, we haven't been informed of any new date for holding another round of dialogue," adding "We are waiting for Fatah movement to set up a new date."

A senior Fatah leader meanwhile said that "there are no justifications for holding any new meeting as long as having no guarantees to seriously debate all the outstanding issues."

The leaders of the two rival groups had held within the last couple of months three rounds of dialogue in Syria. They agreed on three substantial issues related to the elections and reforming Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

However, the most complicated issue was the issue of reforming the Palestinian security apparatuses. Both had traded accusations over blocking a reconciliation deal.


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