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GAZA - A senior Hamas official on Tuesday said the Doha agreement between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was not final.
The remarks of Mahmoud Zahar, a Gaza-based member of the Islamic movement's political bureau, reflect rare public differences between Hamas members in Gaza and the outside leadership led by Khaled Mashaal, the head of the politburo who stays in Syria's capital Damascus.
Earlier this month, Mashaal and Abbas agreed in Qatar's capital Doha to from an interim government to restore unity to the Hamas- controlled Gaza Strip and the West Bank where Abbas' Fatah party holds sway. Qatar suggested that Abbas head and form the government, and Mashaal accepted.
Zahar told Xinhua that the agreement was not final because Mashaal signed it without consulting with his colleagues. He added that Hamas leadership will meet next week "to treat this matter."
Zahar said that Hamas also rejects the Doha deal because it violates an earlier agreement brokered by Egypt between the two sides in May 2011.
The Egyptian-brokered agreement stipulates a transitional government of independent technocrats to prepare for elections.
Hamas and Fatah failed to agree on an independent premier, and the sudden deal that was brokered under Qatari auspices were seen as a compromise to form the government and start implementing the original agreement.
The differences inside Hamas on the Doha declaration mounted, as the official spokesperson confirmed that the movement is with the deal, while senior members like Zahar, who is a politburo member, said there is general rejection among Hamas to the deal.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Abbas said that there were "deep and big disagreements appeared recently inside Hamas," adding that the differences delay the formation of the interim government.
The spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdineh, added that Abbas and Mashaal will meet on February 23 in Egypt's capital Cairo to discuss the formation of the government and implementing the reconciliation's articles.