The Egyptian government has denied recent media reports which have surfaced in regard to their refusal to host Palestinian reconciliation talks in Cairo.In a formal statement, on Saturday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry described the reports as ‘groundless and bare of truth’.

According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, local media had reported earlier that Egyptian officials had rejected a request by Palestinian movement Fateh, with which President Mahmoud Abbas holds membership, to hold reconciliation talks with rival group Hamas in Cairo.

Mounting tensions between the political factions become apparent, now, in spite of an earlier reconciliation deal which produced a unity government headed by West Bank-based Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah.

The unity government has yet to assume political control of the Gaza Strip, however, according to Al Ray, and is impeding payment of public-sector salaries in the long-besieged coastal territory.

Both factions, meanwhile, continue to accuse each other of attempting to sabotage the reconciliation.

The deal seemed to have ended seven years of division between the two factions — with Fateh in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza — after the latter routed troops loyal to Abbas and assumed control of the entire Gaza Strip in 2007.

The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006, leading to frequent humanitarian crises.

With Egyptian backing, Israel tightened the blockade in 2007, following Hamas’ political victory.

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