Hamas Seeks Changes to Palestinian Reconciliation Deal
Hamas Seeks Changes to Palestinian Reconciliation Deal
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Palestinian militant group Hamas says it has rejected an Egyptian-mediated proposal to reconcile with the rival Fatah group, because it does not include a clause on Palestinians' right to resist Israeli occupation.

Hamas and several other Syria-based Palestinian factions issued a joint statement Thursday saying they will not sign the unity deal unless it is revised.

Hamas said the current agreement makes no reference to its conflict with Israel or what it referred to as Israeli "aggression" against Palestinians.

Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the Fatah party, has held talks with Israeli officials in the past.

Fatah has already approved the proposed unity deal with Hamas and said it would deliver a signed copy to Egypt on Thursday.

Egypt has been working for months to get Fatah and Hamas to sign a unity deal, but the Palestinian factions have repeatedly delayed it.

The agreement would clear the way for Palestinian elections to be held in June of next year.  

Fatah controlled Palestinian politics until it was defeated by the Hamas Islamist movement in a 2006 election.

The rift deepened in 2007 when Hamas militants seized control of the Gaza Strip, forcing President Abbas to set up his government in the West Bank.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.