Hamas and Fatah to Try to Save Crumbling Unity

Fatah and Hamas will hold talks in Cairo in an attempt to iron out issues that have prevented the implementation of unity deal.

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Ben Ariel,

Swearing-in of unity government in Ramallah
Swearing-in of unity government in Ramallah
Flash 90

Fatah and Hamas will hold talks in Cairo next week in an attempt to iron out issues that have prevented the full implementation of a unity deal agreed upon in April, a senior Fatah official said Saturday, according to the Ma’an news agency.

The official, Azzam al-Ahmad, said in a statement that talks to finalize national reconciliation would take place sometime in the middle of the week.

He added that talks with Israel to follow up on the August ceasefire agreement would be held shortly after the Fatah-Hamas talks.

The announcement comes amid multiple reports over the past several months that the unity government has been slowly crumbling.

Differences of opinion have surfaced over several issues, including the war in Gaza, reactions to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, and the delayed payment of wages for government workers in Gaza in the weeks leading up to Operation Protective Edge. 

But those differences turned the factions explicitly against one another after Hamas staged dozens of executions of Palestinian Arabs allegedly "collaborating with Israel" - or working for Fatah - prompting at least one Fatah official to compare Hamas to global jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

Hamas political official Mahmoud Zahran claimed late Thursday night that the unity pact was merely a "temporary measure," and that Hamas was looking for "alternative solutions.