Friday, 15 December, 2017

Palestine's Hamas, Fatah Reconciliation Talks Kick Off Under Egypt Mediation

Divisions remain as Hamas-Fatah reconciliation talks due to start Palestine's Hamas, Fatah Reconciliation Talks Kick Off Under Egypt Mediation
Sammy Stanley | 12 October, 2017, 04:41

Negotiators from rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas are in Cairo for talks on reconciling their decade-long split.

"The two movements, Fatah and Hamas, held their first session of national Palestinian dialogue in a bid to end internal division and achieve unity", said the statement issued by the leaders of the two movements at the end of the session.

"The dialogue committee for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas started work under Egyptian sponsorship", the Hamas delegate told reporters.

Hamas had seized control of the Gaza Strip after armed clashes with Fatah in 2007.

Hamas has meanwhile focused its energies on lifting Palestinian Authority (PA) "sanctions" against it in Gaza.

Abbas has said he won't allow any unity government to be formed without all Palestinian weapons coming under the control of the PA.

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Both sides have agreed that their 2011 Cairo agreement, which calls for the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections, and the restructuring of security services, would serve as the framework for the current talks.

"The meeting discussed the issues of the elections, the judiciary, the security, and enabling the Palestinian national reconciliation government to work in the Gaza Strip", Qawasmi said, adding that the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was clear in instruction to Fatah representatives on their flexibility to ensure the success of the meeting and activate the Egyptian role in the reconciliation efforts.

On October 2, the Authority's administration, led by Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah, held its meeting in Gaza for the first time since 2014.

Senior figures in the Fatah delegation that went to Egypt include intelligence chief Majed Faraj and Fayez Abu Eita, a party leader in the Gaza Strip, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

"The goal of negotiations is to start implementing agreements to allow Palestine's national unity government to perform its functions in the fields of economy and security in the Gaza Strip in the same way as it happens on the West Bank of the Jordan River", Fatah spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi told Sputnik.

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