RAMALLAH, April 11 (JMCC) - A senior Palestinian official said Saturday that efforts to achieve reconciliation between Palestinian factions Hamas
could see a breakthrough after Hamas reduced its demands.
Wasil Abu Yusef, head of the Arab Liberation Front
and a member of the PLO's executive committee, said that Egypt is now investing effort in bringing the two sides to an agreement.
Head of Hamas political bureau Khaled Mashaal told the national leadership in a visit to Doha that Hamas was reducing its reservations to three on the Egyptian paper for reconciliation, Abu Yusef told JMCC.org. Hamas originally had 15 points of reservation on the Egyptian plan.
He said that the three reservations are that work on restructuring the PLO
and its temporary leadership status continue uninterrupted, that the Palestinian security services in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip
be rebuilt on the basis of professionalism and national interests, and finally that the Palestinian central elections commission also be restructured.
Abu Yusef called the development relative but was hopeful that it would contribute to ending the political division of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He said that Qatar, seen to be sympathetic to Hamas' position, has pledged to get more involved, leading to a resumption of efforts by Cairo.
Palestinian leadership has been split between the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and a West Bank dominated by Fateh and the PLO ever since June of 2007 when Hamas forces overran Fateh-controlled security installations in Gaza.
The Islamic resistance movement won a majority in January 2006 parliamentary elections, but the handover of power was resisted by Fateh cadres, who had controlled the Palestinian government since its inception in 1994.
Efforts by Egypt and Saudi Arabia have thus far failed to end the split.