'Haniyeh, Abbas to meet over wavering unity deal'

Hamas official says it's organizing meeting with Fatah to settle differences after Fatah delegation was refused entry to Gaza.

January 11, 2012 15:29
1 minute read.
Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh

Haniyeh and Abbas waving 521. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Hamas and Fatah officials are in the process of organizing a meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in the coming days to settle ongoing issues preventing reconciliation, senior Hamas official Ismail Al Ashkar said told Hamas affiliate Al Resalah Wednesday.

Ashkar stressed that the meetings would work to sort out frosty relations between the two factions that were worsened last week when Hamas refused entry to a Fatah delegation at the Erez Border Crossing near Beit Hanoun in the Gaza Strip.

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Ashkar added that he and other senior Hamas officials have made efforts to discuss the unstable relations between the two groups, and that Hamas leader Halil Al Haya had contacted the Fatah delegation head Azzam Al Ahmad in order to solve the "crisis" that occurred as a result of their barred entry.

The delegation debacle underlined the unsteady course of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, even since the two groups signed agreements with other Palestinian factions for forming a unified PLO including the Islamist group, whose power Fatah did not recognize since Hamas won Palestinian elections 2006.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement said on Sunday it would have to re-evaluate its reconciliation pact with the Islamist Hamas group following the rejection of the Fatah visit, where three officials were stopped from entering the coastal enclave.

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