Hamas-Fatah reconciliation efforts fail again

Two parties meet in Damascus in attempts to end power struggle; main sticking point is security; Haniyeh says talks will continue.

abbas haniyeh collage 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
abbas haniyeh collage 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Hamas and Fatah said on Wednesday that they were facing difficulties in achieving progress toward ending the power struggle between them.
Representatives of the two parties met in Damascus this week in yet another attempt to solve the crisis, but failed to reach agreement over the main sticking point: security.
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Fatah’s refusal to share security powers with Hamas in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip remains the major obstacle to achieving reconciliation between the two sides.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said the talks were facing difficult “complications,” but would nevertheless continue.
“I can say that matters are difficult,” he told reporters in Gaza City. “There are complications, and they’re not easy because we are discussing the most important issue: security.”
Haniyeh acknowledged that the differences with Fatah were too big.
“I don’t believe we will be able to solve all our differences during this round of discussions,” he added. “But we are still waiting to see what the outcome of the talks will be.”
Fatah spokesman Fahmi Za’areer blamed Hamas for the lack of progress, saying that the Islamist movement does not have the political will to end the crisis. Hamas, he added, is not serious about achieving unity with Fatah, citing its refusal to accept an Egyptian initiative for ending the power struggle.
Za’areer said that Hamas was not fit to play any security role, but voiced support for the idea of reconstructing the Palestinian Authority security forces.
Meanwhile, Hamas’s decision to ban Fatah from holding public rallies to mark the sixth anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat has once again escalated tensions between the two parties.
Fatah was planning a series of events in the Gaza Strip to commemorate Arafat, but the Hamas government said it wouldn’t allow the rallies to take place.
Fatah officials accused Hamas of arresting dozens of their supporters in the Gaza Strip to prevent them from participating in the rallies.