The Islamic Jihad terrorist group predicted on Wednesday that the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah would likely fail, reports the Ma’an news agency.
The reason for the impending failure, a senior member of the group said, is the five-week period set by the sides to form a national unity government.
Senior member of Islamic Jihad Khalid al-Batsh warned on his Facebook page that the five-week period could lead to another freeze in the implementation of the reconciliation agreement.
“This period will give a chance for anyone who does not want the achievement of reconciliation to take negative steps and steps that would hinder reconciliation,” he said, according to Ma’an.
Al-Batsh further said that these obstructions could come from a number of sources, including “American pressure or Israeli actions against our people,” or by “those who benefit from the continuing division in Gaza and the West Bank.”
He called on the two sides to “immediately start the implementation and reconsider the five-week period and to consider the two governments interim until the unity government and all other reconciliation files are completed.”
According to the deal announced Wednesday, Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to issue a “presidential decree” announcing the dates for elections, which PA officials said would likely take place within the next six months.
There is room to doubt whether the agreement between the rival groups of Fatah and Hamas will hold; in 2011 the two signed a reconciliation accord in Cairo which has yet to be implemented.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu approached news of the Fatah-Hamas deal by saying it was proof that Mahmoud Abbas was not genuinely interested in peace with Israel, given Hamas’ clearly stated goal of annihilating the Jewish state.
He later announced that he would be convening the inner diplomacy-security cabinet Thursday morning, to discuss the agreement between Fatah and Hamas and whether or not to continue contacts with the PA.