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PA 'waiting on Egypt outcome' for reconciliation push

Aug. 15, 2013 8:36 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 17, 2013 10:37 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Authority is waiting on the outcome of the crisis in Egypt to move forward on reconciliation with Hamas, a senior PLO official said Thursday.

Egypt's military rulers on Wednesday launched a bloody crackdown on protesters demonstrating against the army's removal of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood movement is close to Hamas. More than 500 people were killed in the country's worst violence in decades.

PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yousef said the Fatah-led PA would wait for the outcome of the crisis in Egypt to proceed with reconciliation with Hamas.

Cairo has hosted several rounds of reconciliation talks between the rival Palestinian movements.

At a meeting of a committee of political leaders at his headquarters in Ramallah on Thursday, President Mahmoud Abbas said he was committed to national reconciliation.

Abu Yousef said the committee was formed in the lead up to Palestine's bid for UN membership. Abbas invited the committee to meet on Thursday to discuss political affairs, Abu Yousef told Ma'an.

The committee will continue to meet regularly, the PLO official added.

At Thursday's meeting, several committee members, from different factions, expressed their rejection of the resumption of negotiations with Israel, Abu Yousef said.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed direct talks in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

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