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Official: Fatah, Hamas reach agreement on key issues

Nov. 15, 2011 11:10 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 16, 2011 2:08 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Fatah and Hamas have agreed on several controversial issues as part of a reconciliation deal signed on May 4, a Fatah official said Monday.

Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad told a local radio station that details of the agreements would be released after a meeting set to take place in late November between President Abbas and Hamas leader in exile Khaled Mashaal.

On Friday, the official PA news agency reported that Abbas and Mashaal would meet in Cairo in the last 10 days of November.

Al-Ahmad said both parties had agreed that elections will take place in May, although he stressed that certain conditions must be secured before a vote could take place.

The formation of a national unity government, restructuring the central election committee, creating an election court, and reforming the Palestinian security forces are all conditions which have to be met, he said.

The upcoming November meeting will discuss the status of the PLO, the future of the Palestinian Authority, the stalled peace process, upcoming elections and the nature of Palestinian resistance, al-Ahmad added.

The Fatah official said that he had secretly visited Cairo several times in preparation for the meeting between Fatah and Hamas leaders.

“It will be a meeting for reaching agreement, and not only for the sake of holding a meeting,” he said.

It will be the first meeting between Mashaal and Abbas since they signed a May deal in the Egyptian capital to end years of rivalry between Hamas and the president's Fatah party that split Palestinians into separate administrations in the West Bank and Gaza.

The agreement set out a path for the creation of a transitional government of technocrats, but has yet to be fully implemented.
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