Daily Israel Report

Fatah, Hamas to Meet in Gaza City

Following recent tensions the rival Hamas and Fatah factions are planning to meet to continue 'reconciliation' efforts
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 1/11/2012, 8:27 PM

Fatah and Hamas officials plan to meet in Gaza City late on Wednesday in hopes of diffusing recent tensions between the rival factions.

“We will work with both movements to end the negative impact between Fatah and Hamas on the Beit Hanoun crossing. We are going to the meeting today hoping to end it with a positive spirit which prevailed in the first meeting,” said Fatah negotiator Saleh Nasser.

Four Fatah officials tried to enter Gaza on Friday for reconciliation talks, but said they were refused entry by Hamas border guards and left after waiting for 45 minutes.

Hamas said the delegation refused to wait more than 10 minutes for border guards to call their supervisors to arrange the group's entry.

On Sunday the parties accused each other of using the row as a pretext to back out of the May 2011 unity agreement aimed at ending the feud between the rival factions.

The agreement came after years of often violent infighting between Fatah and Hamas. The fued erupted after Hamas seized Gaza from Fatah in a bloody putsch in 2007.

Meanwhile, Nasser said the Arab League would donate $34 million to the group in order to compensate people who have been adversely affected as a result of the political divide between Fatah and Hamas.

The renewed reconciliation talks come as PLO officials prepare to induct Hamas and its terror confederates into its ranks, a move that comes on the heels of an increasingly hard-line stance by Fatah vis-a-vis Israel.

In December PLO officials adopted "a strategy based on continuous efforts along with the international community to secure full recognition and full United Nations membership, pursuing internal reconciliation, and keeping up the popular resistance."

They have also threatened to 'downgrade' economic and security ties with Israel and maintain Israel must adopt the pre-1967 lines, release all Arab terrorists from its prisons, and freeze construction before talks can resume.

Despite these moves PLO officials continue to blame Israel for the moribund status of the so-called peace process.

Israel maintains that it is ready to talk without preconditions from either side "anytime, anywhere."