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Gazans protest slow pace of reconciliation talks

Feb. 2, 2012 11:54 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 3, 2012 5:14 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Dozens of people in the Gaza Strip took to the streets on Wednesday night to protest the slow progress of reconciliation talks.

Protesters banged empty cooking pots in a protest aimed at pressuring officials to speed up the process of national unity.

Spokesman for the campaign Shamekh Badra said the protest was a success due to the wide participation of diverse sectors of society.

The campaign, entitled "Loyalty to martyrs by ending the split," called on both Fatah and Hamas officials to speed up reconciliation in order to end the suffering of the Palestinian people.

The reconciliation deal set out a path to elections within a year, and the appointment of an interim government to unite both territories. But the parties could not agree on a candidate to lead the unity government.

After meeting in November to kickstart the stalled deal, Mashaal and Abbas indicated that elections would still be held by May 2012, and established several committees to oversee implementation of the deal, including the release of political prisoners, which have yet to deliver on its terms.

Secretary-general of Fatah Revolutionary Council Amin Maqboul told Ma'an last week that the Central Elections Commission has ruled out the possibility that elections will be held at the beginning of May as suggested.
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