Palestinian unity is a “very important objective of Egyptian policy” said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Badr Abdelatty on Wednesday.
Abdelatty’s comment comes in light of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ accusation that Hamas is seeking to “destroy” Palestinian unity.
Abbas also accused the leaders of Hamas of being behind 10 bomb attacks on Fatah targets last Friday in the Gaza Strip, where the Islamist movement holds power.
The accusations came in Abbas’ speech on the 10th anniversary of the death of the iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, founder of the Fatah movement.
Hamas spokesman Mushir Al-Masri told AFP that Abbas’ speech was a “web of lies, insults and disinformation”.
The two main Palestinian factions have had a cold relationship since Hamas seized control of Gaza Strip in 2007 after a series of bloody clashes with Fatah. In April this year, the two sides announced a decision to form a unity government, which was supposed to mark the thawing of their political rivalry. However these latest developments leave the notion of an operational unity government uncertain.
Abdelatty said Egypt is currently “deeply concerned with stability and reconciliation” in Palestinian territories, adding that it is important “to have reconciliation and a unity government in place and anything that disturbs that objective is concerning”.
In regards to the effect the latest fallout between the Palestinian factions could have on the currently postponed talks between Palestinians and Israelis, Abdelatty said that this is “separate track” for the Palestinian Authority and Israel to work out.
Egypt brokered an open-ended ceasefire between Palestinian factions in Gaza and Israel at the end of August, following 50 days of conflict over the summer that claimed over 2,200 lives.
The ceasefire has become more uncertain recently with attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers on the rise in Jerusalem, which Hamas praises as part of resistance efforts. A 20 year-old Israeli soldier was stabbed outside a Tel-Aviv train station earlier this week and died as a result of the wounds hours later.
Tensions remain high in the West Bank, after a mosque was burned down by Israeli settlers on Wednesday morning. This latest incident comes in the context of weekly clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians around Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.