GAZA CITY - Hamas on Sunday accused President Mahmoud Abbas of changing the requirements of reconciliation by insisting for an election date before forming a unity government.
On Saturday, Abbas told Fatah's Revolutionary Council that a unity government would not be formed until a date for elections was set, although a week earlier the president said the transitional government would be formed "in the next few days."
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Abbas was "increasing the burden of reconciliation" by setting new requirements for the formation of a unity government.
In a statement, Abu Zuhri said elections would be a result of reconciliation, rather than a pathway to unity.
If the president wants to speed up the process of holding elections, he must create the right environment for a vote and stop political arrests by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Abu Zuhri added.
Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation treaty in May 2011 and agreed to form a transitional government to prepare for elections within a year.