Hamas and Fatah meet for reconciliation talks in Doha

In the latest attempt to end their nearly nine-year rivalry, Fatah and Hamas meet in Doha to discuss reconciliation process.

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Ben Ariel,

Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas's Khaled Mashaal (archive)
Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas's Khaled Mashaal (archive)
Mohammed al-Hums/Flash 90

Fatah and Hamas delegations met in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday and Sunday to discuss the implementation of a reconciliation process between the two major Palestinian factions, the Ma’an news agency reported Sunday.

Palestinian sources told the Palestinian Authority (PA)-based news agency the two parties had agreed not to speak to the media about the proceedings.

A Fatah delegation arrived in Doha on Friday for talks on implementing reconciliation.

Sharhabil al-Gharib, an author and political analyst close to Hamas, told Ma'an that these meetings would just amount to a formality unless they yield concrete results.

Al-Gharib said Fatah was demanding that Hamas agree to its agenda, but that a "resolution here is finding a joint agenda represented in the National Accord Document," which was approved by both parties.

He added that talks would only include "the issue of government and marginal issues.”

The meeting is the latest in a series of attempts to reconcile the two movements since they violently fell out with one another in 2007, when Hamas took over Gaza from Fatah in a bloody coup.

The sides have continued their never-ending war of words despite a unity agreement signed in April 2014 which sought to end seven years of bad blood.

The unity government between Hamas and Fatah collapsed last June when PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the sides.

Since then, the sides have continued to verbally attack one another, with Hamas making the harshest of the comments.

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has criticized Hamas for creating a shadow government in Gaza and blocking efforts to reach political unity.

Hamas has in turn accused the PA of executing a plan to "eradicate" the movement from Judea and Samaria, saying that an arrest campaign of over 200 members was carried out by the PA to target reconciliation efforts between the two factions.