International media sources reported on Thursday that the ruling Fatah party rejected an offer by the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, to form a national committee to oversee the intended Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip, due to begin in mid-August.

The source said that Hamas’ proposal came as an alternative to an offer by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last week for Hamas to join the Palestinian cabinet.

Palestinian officials regarded Hamas’ offer as attempts to create a parallel authority to the existing one.

‘There will not be a parallel or alternative authority or committee to run Gaza,’ Jibril Rajoub, a senior security adviser to Abbas , told Reuters after a meeting in Syria between Abbas and Hamas’ political leader Sheikh Khaled Mesha’al.

‘There is a national authority which is responsible for (overseeing) the withdrawal and has the legitimacy to rule the Palestinian people,’ Rajoub added.

Mousa Abu Marzouk, deputy chief of Hamas’ political bureau said they reject joining the government, but they advocate for a national unity.

‘We are with national unity both in terms of our policy and practices, but we are not with the government of national unity,’ Abu Marzouk told Reuters by telephone.

Hamas’ prominent leader Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahaar, said that Hamas lost faith in Abbas.

Abbas met with Hamas leaders during his visit to Damascus.  He also held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Nayef Hawatmeh, during which they discussed the national unity government.

Hawatmeh said, after the meeting that the success of a national unity government depends on the seriousness of the Palestinian Authority for a change.