On the eve of the launching of the Palestinian reconciliation talks in Cairo, the Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas – has put forward what was described as minimum gains and a ceiling of concessions, according to a movement official.
There are “"irreversible constants, such as the weapons of resistance and equal participation in government,” the official told Asharq al-Awsat, speaking on condition of anonymity.
He noted that the ball was now in the court of Fatah Movement, Egypt and other Arab countries, as Hamas has shown “great flexibility to reach an advanced point in the path of reconciliation.”
The official added that the movement “is waiting for the fulfillment of promises made by several parties, which cover some political demands, and other economic and developmental aspects.”
It is expected that the round of reconciliation talks between representatives of Fatah and Hamas would resolve a number of points of disagreement, mainly Hamas' Qassam Brigades and the financial sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority on the Gaza Strip.
The Fatah delegation in the negotiations is headed by Azzam al-Ahmad, member of the movement’s central committee, and includes leaders Rouhi Fattouh, Fayez Abu Ayta, Hussein al-Sheikh and Major General Majed Faraj. On the other hand, the Hamas delegation includes Yehya al-Sinwar, Khalil al-Hayya, Husam Badran, Izzat al-Rishq, Moussa Abu Marzouk and Saleh al-Arouri.
Prior to the start of the negotiations on Tuesday, Hamas Spokesman Abdelatif al-Qanou told Asharq al-Awsat that the movement was committed to the 2011 Cairo Agreement, on which the talks would be based.
He added that Hamas hoped the negotiations would coincide with easing sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority on the Gaza Strip.
The “Cairo Agreement”, which was reached by Hamas, Fatah and the Palestinian factions, under the auspices of Egypt, stipulates the establishment of a government of national unity, the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections, and the restructuring of security services.
Qanou renewed Hamas’ refusal to put the Qassam Brigades on the discussion table.
“It was never raised before, at any stage, and will not be raised,” he said.