Egypt: Fatah-Hamas Deal Deferred Due to 'Inappropriate Conditions'

Egypt announcement comes after Fatah unilaterally signed pact in Cairo on Thursday without reservations.

Egypt said on Saturday that the latest postponement of a reconciliation agreement between rival Palestinian movements Hamas and Fatah was due to "inappropriate conditions."

The announcement came after Fatah unilaterally signed the pact in Cairo on Thursday without reservations. Hamas, however, said it needed another few days to consider the document, and that the Islamist group had reservations about it.

Egypt, which has been attempting to broker the deal, had initially planned for the sides to sign the accord on Thursday. The country has yet to set a new date for a signing ceremony.

Hamas' deputy political leader, Abu Marzouk, said: "Today the Hamas leadership will relay to Egypt a document containing the necessary reservations and amendments for the Egyptian document."

According to the Damascus-based official, one of the reservations is about the U.S. demand that the unity deal follow the conditions of the Quartet, which include recognition of the State of Israel, acknowledging earlier agreements and renouncing terrorism.

Another was that Hamas wanted guarantees that if it should win in any upcoming elections, the international community would recognize the government it formed. Abu Marzouk further demanded clarifications as to the opening of the Gaza-Egypt border crossing at Rafah, which Egypt has kept shut as part of an Israeli-led blockade on the Gaza Strip.

The groups have been bitter rivals ever since Hamas ousted Fatah from the Gaza Strip in a bloody 2007 coup.