Cairo may host Palestinian reconciliation talks: Fatah senior official

Fatma Lotfi
3 Min Read

Egypt may host a new reconciliation meeting between the two rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, in two weeks, the Russian news agency TASS cited a senior Fatah official on Wednesday.

Rawhi Fattouh, a member of the Fatah central committee, told TASS that he thinks that in two weeks “Cairo will invite all factions for talks.” However, he noted that the exact time of the talks remains unknown.

No Egyptian official statements have confirmed or denied holding upcoming reconciliation meeting between the two Palestinian factions.

Moscow hosted talks between Fatah and Hamas on 11-13 February, where representatives of the two factions met. The results of the talks are set to be announced during a press conference.

Regarding Moscow’s talks, Fattouh denied commenting on the outcomes, noting that “it is too early to talk about reconciliation,” TASS reported. Fattouh said that during the two-day discussions, the two sides addressed all issues of mutual concern including the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, TASS added.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, Moscow’s meeting aimed to unify the Palestinians and to end the dispute, TASS continued.

Tensions between Fatah and Hamas have recently increased, after the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decided to form a new national unity government, excluding Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement.

The former Palestinian government was formed in 2014 with the support of the Fatah and Hamas factions. At the end of last month, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and his government resigned.

Earlier in January, the Palestinian Authority (PA) withdrew its staff and police forces and handed over the Rafah border crossing. Hamas reclaimed the crossing and denounced Fatah’s decision.

The Rafah border crossing has been under Hamas’s control since the movement took power in 2007. The PA then took over the border’s control, as part of the reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas which took place in Cairo in 2017. During 2018, Egypt has allowed the crossing to be regularly opened.

Over the recent years, Cairo brokered several attempts to reach a reconciliation deal between the two faction rivals, aiming to end the Palestinian split. However, the talks did not succeed.

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A journalist in DNE's politics section with more than six years of experience in print and digital journalism, focusing on local political issues, terrorism and human rights. She also writes features on women issues and culture.
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