Trust is most lacking on several key issues, including new elections, who controls security in the West Bank and Gaza, whether Hamas's military wing will be disarmed, and how power will be shared in the Palestinian government and the Palestine Liberation Organization – long dominated by Fatah. Khalil Shaheen, an editor of the Al Ayyam newspaper in Ramallah, says the Egyptian-brokered plan uses vague wording on some issues in an attempt to secure approval from both sides. While such an approach may lead to an agreement, it could delay reconciliation in practice and thus defer benefits for both sides.
What Hamas, Fatah would gain from reconciliation
For Hamas, an agreement could ease the international political boycott on the organization and shift pressure on Israel to end an economic blockade of the coastal strip that has largely cut off Gaza's 1.5 million residents from the rest of the world. But it is also wary of Fatah security officers returning to Gaza.
That means that any accord must involve an agreement preserving the security divide between the West Bank and Gaza until each party builds up political trust in the other side, says Professor Dejani.
"The issue is how to reconcile between two powerful movements," he says. "They aren't at a place where they have the confidence to share power equally in those areas. There is still a lot of bad blood."
Fatah, meanwhile, could lose ground to Hamas if the prospect for peace with Israel dims. Analysts say that Fatah's flirtation Wednesday with a compromise stems from low expectations about the resumption of peace talks. After being attacked for meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjmain Netanyahu in New York, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has dug in on insisting that Israel freeze settlement activity before talks. The US meanwhile, seems to have backed away from such a stance, weakening Mr. Abbas.