GAZA —Hamas’ leader in Gaza said on Thursday a reconciliation deal with President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction was collapsing, just 10 weeks after the agreement was reached.
The rivals signed a deal brokered by Cairo on Oct. 12 after Hamas agreed to hand over administrative control of the Gaza Strip, including its border crossings with Egypt and Israel, a decade after seizing control of the enclave in a civil war.
The deal bridged a deep gulf between Abbas’ Fatah and Hamas, but continued disputes have delayed its implementation.
Yehya Al-Sinwar, Hamas’ chief in Gaza and a key architect of the unity agreement, offered a bleak outlook on Thursday, suggesting the deal could suffer a similar fate to numerous reconciliation attempts over the past decade.
“The reconciliation project is falling apart; only a blind man can’t see that,” Sinwar said in comments published by pro-Hamas media.
One of the latest disputes came earlier this month when Hamas, according to Fatah officials, missed a milestone to complete the handover of Gaza to Abbas’ West Bank-based government.
Hamas said it has given up all administrative control in Gaza.
Rami Al-Hamdallah, the Palestinian prime minister, said Hamas had not transferred moneys as agreed, while Hamas said Hamdallah’s government had not paid salaries in Gaza as agreed.
Sinwar has said in the past his group would not go back to governing Gaza and that he was committed to making the deal succeed.
“Reconciliation is collapsing because some people want to get from it the relinquishing of arms and the closing of tunnels,” said Sinwar without elaborating, but in apparent reference to Fatah.