Hamas announced late Saturday that it would be postponing dialogue with its rival, Fatah, because of the Palestinian Authority's decision to defer a debate on a report claiming Israel committed war crimes in Gaza.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said his organization would notify Egypt, which is mediating the talks, about a new date.
Fatah responded by accusing Hamas of taking advantage of the tumult surrounding the Goldstone report in order to evade reconciliation. But a number of other Palestinian organizations have expressed support for the decision.
Hamas is demanding that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas apologize for his decision.
"Our delegation (to Egypt) has expressed willingness to postpone the reconciliation convention until conditions have improved, following the Goldstone Report and the rage it has created in the public. In the current situation, we cannot shake hands with those who have betrayed the blood of the martyrs and the pain of the injured," senior Hamas member Salah Bardawil said.
He added that Egypt understood Hamas' stance and offered an alternative in order to sidestep the obstacle, which Hamas is currently considering.
Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah faction in the Palestinian parliament, said his organization was awaiting clarification from Hamas.
"Hamas does not want to sign a truce agreement and so is looking for excuses in order to keep from ending the schism and signing the agreement. It wants to take advantage of the atmosphere accompanying the Goldstone Report," he said.