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Hamas to Respond Sunday to Palestinian Unity Deal


Hamas says it will give its response Sunday to Egyptians mediating a unity agreement between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah.

Hamas officials say a delegation will travel to Cairo to hand over the response.

On Friday, Egypt said it had delayed the signing of a unity agreement because of a dispute between Hamas and Fatah on the handling of a U.N. report on Israel's offensive in Gaza nearly a year ago.

Hamas had asked for a postponement because it was upset that Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas supported deferring a vote on that U.N. report.

Later Friday, the U.N. Human Rights Council voted to endorse a report that accuses Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes during the Gaza conflict.


Fatah has already approved an Egyptian-mediated unity proposal, but Hamas rejected the deal because it does not include a clause on the Palestinians' right to resist Israeli occupation.

President Abbas has said if the two factions do not reach a deal, he would call for Palestinian elections to be held in January, instead of June 28, as called for in the Egyptian-mediated proposal.

Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist, but Mr. Abbas has held talks with Israeli officials in the past.

Fatah controlled Palestinian politics until it was defeated by Hamas in a 2006 election. The rift deepened in 2007 when Hamas militants seized control of the Gaza Strip, forcing Mr. Abbas to set up his government in the West Bank.

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