Haneya criticizes linking reconciliation with reconstruction of Gaza
Published: Jul 04, 2009 08:57 AM Updated: May 25, 2011 12:50 PM

Deposed Prime Minister of Hamas government in Gaza Ismail Haneya said on Friday that reaching a reconciliation deal with rival Fatah party must not be linked to the reconstruction of Gaza.

Haneya told prayers in one of Gaza city mosques that reaching a reconciliation deal "shouldn't be linked to other issues such as lifting the unfair siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, or reconstructing what had been destroyed by the occupation."

In their sixth round of dialogue that ended on Tuesday, the Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, and President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, controlling the West Bank, failed to overcome substantial differences and reach a deal that would end more than two years of political rift between them.

"Hamas is seeking unity, but what happened during the dialogue's session didn't go together with its spirit, mainly with our brothers in Ramallah. Every time we make progress in one point, we get back to the zero point," said Haneya.

Both Fatah and Hamas leaders traded accusations that each is trying to blow up reaching an agreement. Haneya said, " unfortunately, the external intervention into the dialogue is the major obstacle to achieve reconciliation."

Egypt, which wanted the two rivals to sign a reconciliation deal on July 7, had announced that it decided to give the conferees a last chance and informed them to come for a last round of talks on July 25 in order to sign the agreement on July 28.

Meanwhile, Haneya slammed an Amnesty International report that blamed both Israel and Hamas for committing war crimes during the 22-day Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip that ended on Jan. 18.

"The report equaled between the victim and the executioner ( Israel). Hamas movement didn't carry war crimes, but it was defending its people, and we want Amnesty to be fairer and more balanced," said Haneya. 

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