Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Ignoring elephant in the room, Hamas-Fatah talks advance with Egyptian help

Lady Sheikh and Chris Rose Lady Sheikh and Chris Rose
Melinda Barton | 11 October, 2017, 17:02

Head of the Fatah delegation at the Palestinian reconciliation talks Azzam al-Ahmed announced on Tuesday that first dialogue session with the rival Hamas group will get underway later during the day in Cairo.

- Palestinians should not fall for "bogus reconciliations".

But divisions remain even over the parameters for the upcoming talks.

A Fatah official in Cairo, Samih Barzaq, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the measures taken by the PA against Gaza employees would be lifted "very soon".

Qawasmi said that during the meeting, all aspects of enabling the Al-Wefaq (reconciliation) government to work in the Gaza Strip and completely remove any obstacles were discussed thoroughly.

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. He stressed that the decision of peace and war and the form of resistance to which everyone is committed is a national decision rather than a sectarian one.

After dissolving the committee, Abbas instructed last week to send Rami Hamdallah, the prime minister of the Palestinian consensus government, his cabinet and Palestinian security chiefs to Gaza to hand over ruling Gaza. This issue should be resolved within a week or two.

The Islamists of Hamas and the West Bank-based Fatah movement of Abbas have been at odds since they fought a near civil war in 2007.

The sources said that after that they will go back to the Palestinian territories and wait for another Egyptian invitation for a wider dialogue that will include leaders of other Palestinian factions and political powers.

"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.