RAMALLAH, May 5, 2012 (WAFA) – A year after Fatah and Hamas had signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo, Palestinians Saturday demanded immediate implementation of the terms of the agreement and quick end to all forms of division.
A statement by the Palestinian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations (PNGO) urged the two leading Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, to end their differences in order to focus on the more important national issues.
President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal signed in Cairo on May 4 last year an agreement that was supposed to end five years of division. Various committees were established to reconcile differences between the two powers.
“It is regrettable that this agreement was not implemented on the ground,” said PNGO, adding that it “looks with concern at setbacks to the reconciliation process and failure to implement any of the signed agreements, which has created a feeling of despair among all sectors of society.”
It said that implementing the Cairo agreement and unity among the Palestinian people “remain our choice in confronting the occupation to regain our freedom, independence and right of return.”
It said that “dealing with major issues, particularly the prisoners and our support for them, as well as confronting measures of the occupation … can happen only through national unity and abandoning division once and for all.”
PNGO called for the immediate formation of a unity government and allowing elections to take place, two requirements of the Cairo agreement, as a way to end the division.
The Palestinian factions had agreed in Cairo to form a unity government that would prepare for presidential and legislative elections that were supposed to be held by May 4 of this year. However, due to failure of Hamas to allow the Central Elections Commission (CEC) from updating its voters register in the Gaza Strip, it was impossible to hold elections.
Hamas says Abbas should first form the unity government, which the two sides had agreed in the Qatar capital Doha in February that Abbas would lead, before holding elections. The Palestinian Authority says once the CEC is allowed to operate freely in Gaza and an election date is set, the government will be formed.