Fatah’s top negotiator said Wednesday that rival movement Hamas was “not committed” to a landmark Palestinian reconciliation agreement, two days ahead of a key deadline to implement the accord.

“Hamas is not committed to the agreement it signed in Cairo to end the division,” Azzam al-Ahmad, chief negotiator for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah, told AFP.

“Until this moment, the problems and obstacles from Hamas are still there and are increasing.”

Under the agreement, Hamas is due to hand over control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority by Friday after a decade of dominance there, but doubts have emerged over whether it will occur.

Earlier Wednesday, Palestinian Authority employees were prevented from returning to work at a number of ministries in the Gaza Strip in another sign of tension ahead of the deadline.

An Egyptian-mediated deal signed in October is aimed at ending the decade-long feud between Fatah, based in the occupied West Bank, and Islamist movement Hamas.

Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since seizing it in 2007 in a near civil war with Fatah, leaving the Palestinians with two separate administrations.

Problems in implementing the October accord have included how to resolve the issue of two separate civil adminstrations as well as security control of the Gaza Strip, with Hamas refusing to disarm.

Source: National News Agency