Hamas, Fatah Make New Bid for Unity as Talks Crumble

Bid to unite Palestinian Arabs follows the demise of peace talks, threats to disband the PA.

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Shimon Cohen,

PA's Abbas and Hamas's Haniyeh meet, Feb 2012
PA's Abbas and Hamas's Haniyeh meet, Feb 2012

Delegations from Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) will be meeting in Gaza Tuesday, in a renewed bid for Palestinian Arab unity. Among the topics under discussion are the concept of joint elections and a shared agreement to terminate talks with Israel. 

Hamas made a gesture to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas prior to the meeting, and released ten prisoners in Gaza accused of associating with Fatah, the main political party behind the PA. 

The move comes just days after Hamas stated that the PLO, the terror organization behind political power in the PA, "does not represent the Palestinian people."

On Sunday, Abbas threatened to dismantle the PA, claiming peace talks were futile. Analysts claim the move is meant to deal a harsh blow to Israel on the international sphere, but could potentially have more disastrous consequences for Palestinian Arabs themselves.

The US has already threatened to revoke financial and political support in the event the PA disbands. 

Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo in 2011, pledging to set up an interim consensus government of independents that would pave the way for legislative and presidential elections within 12 months.

Implementation of the accord stalled over the make-up of the interim government, and a February 2012 deal signed by Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Doha intended to overcome outstanding differences was opposed by Hamas members in Gaza.