Hamas, Fatah renew efforts for Palestinian unity

Despite tension, Hamas and Fatah officials meet in Cairo to discuss implementation of previous reconciliation agreements.

PA President Abbas with Hamas leader Khaled  Mashaal 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Ho New)
PA President Abbas with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ho New)
Despite ongoing tensions between them, Hamas and Fatah resumed on Wednesday efforts to end their dispute and form a Palestinian unity government.
Fatah’s Azzam al-Ahmed and Hamas’s Musa Abu Marzouk held talks in Cairo to discuss the implementation of previous reconciliation agreements signed between the two parties.
Earlier this week, Ahmed announced that the US administration has “softened” its opposition to Fatah efforts to form a unity government with Hamas.
The announcement came shortly after US Secretary of State John Kerry held talks in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Ahmed said that Abbas was scheduled to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in coming days to discuss forming a unity government and holding presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
At Wednesday’s meeting in Cairo, Ahmed and Abu Marzouk also discussed Qatar’s call to convene a summit of leading Arab states to discuss the implementation of Hamas-Fatah reconciliation accords.
Over the past few years, the rival parties have reached a number of deals to end their power struggle, but none has been implemented.
Although Hamas has welcomed Qatar’s summit initiative, Fatah has expressed reservations, arguing that the Islamist movement should not be invited as a “legitimate and equal” representative of Palestinians. Fatah fears that such a move would undermine the PLO’s claim to be the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinians.