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Palestinian rivals head to Cairo for reconciliation talks

Palestinian rivals head to Cairo for reconciliation talks

Fatah leader Yahya Rabah told Al-Monitor, "The government can not be a mere formality in the Gaza Strip, and it is part of its duty to oversee all security headquarters, institutions and crossings without any kind of interference".

The Fatah-Hamas reconciliation efforts have enraged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who stressed that the regime would not accept "imaginary appeasement where the Palestinian side is reconciling at the expense of our existence".

As a first step on the path to Palestinian reconciliation, Hamas agreed to hand over power in the Gaza Strip to a Palestinian unity government.

Hamas declined to comment on the conditions set by Abbas. It released them last week ahead of the arrival of the Palestinian national unity government in the besieged enclave.

Abbas and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), which was dominated by Fatah, subsequently attempted to unseat the Hamas-led government.

Following that vote, squabbling between Fatah and Hamas prevented the two from establishing a coalition.




Israel has refused to allow three Hamas leaders to leave the West Bank for Egypt to attend reconciliation talks between Palestinian factions in Cairo, a Hamas leader said.

A fourth key sticking point is a series of punitive measures Abbas has taken against Hamas in recent months, including cuts to electricity payments for Gaza.

The split has complicated any potential peace negotiations with Israel.

"My hunch is that the majority of Palestinians in Gaza are against Hamas or any resistance group disarming because we are still under occupation and siege", he added.

On Saturday, Hamas police arrested a suspected jihadist leader in Gaza, Nour Issa, 27. "There is no excuse for delaying or undermining measures that would ease the suffering of Gaza's people". "The issue will need very deep discussion between Hamas and Fatah".

The group took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 in a violent conflict after Israel retreated from the territory two years previously.


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