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Official says reconciliation top priority following UN bid

Dec. 5, 2012 10:47 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 7, 2012 11:24 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Political reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is the Palestinian Authority's top priority following the successful UN move to upgrade Palestine's status, a former PA official said Wednesday.

Nasser al-Shaer, former PA official and Hamas member, told Ma'an that President Abbas chaired a meeting with PLO members, Fatah's Central Committee and prominent national figures on Tuesday to discuss implementing political reconciliation.

Steps to further reconciliation efforts will begin in two weeks, al-Shaer said, adding that several committees will be set up to monitor the political and organizational process following the successful UN upgrade to non-member observer status.

The Palestinian leadership will continue working internationally to consolidate the Palestinian state and activate an effective political process to end Israel's 45-year occupation, while continuing to build Palestine's national institutions, the former official said.

Hamas and Fatah fought bitterly after the Islamist group won parliamentary elections in 2006, splitting into separate governments in Gaza and the West Bank a year later.

An Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas has repeatedly stalled, but Israel's eight-day war on the Gaza Strip, which ended on Nov. 21, gave political impetus to ending the division.
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