The Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has denied that a deal on forming a unity government – agreed on the 11th of September – has been frozen. Haniyeh says talks are only on hold while the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends meetings in New York.
He said he could “assure all parties that there was no retreat. There is an agreement between myself and President Abbas to resume dialogue when he returns.” Abbas, earlier on Sunday, had said talks on forming a unity government were frozen because Hamas would not accept existing peace deals with Israel.
The Palestinian president will meet US President George W. Bush in New York on Wednesday on the sidelines of a UN meeting. The deadlock over forming a unity government threatens to unravel efforts to restore foreign aid that was cut when Hamas took office in March. Early this morning Palestinian militants, meanwhile, fired a rocket at the Israeli border town of Sderot, slightly injuring one person.