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Fatah official: Unity talks stalled until Hamas agrees to elections

Feb. 18, 2014 5:48 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 28, 2014 6:01 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- The head of Fatah's reconciliation delegation will not travel to Gaza to discuss unity talks until Hamas agrees to hold elections, a Fatah official said Tuesday.

Amin Maqboul, the secretary-general of Fatah's revolutionary council, told Ma'an that Azzam al-Ahmad "would not travel to the Gaza Strip before we receive official notification confirming that Hamas has agreed to general elections and a national consensus government."

Once official confirmation is received al-Ahmad will go to Gaza to reach an agreement on practical steps for implementation.

Hamas has been procrastinating and maneuvering through media outlets to avoid talks, Maqboul added.

Representatives of various Palestinian political parties held a meeting last Thursday in Gaza to discuss negotiations and national reconciliation.

The division between Fatah and Hamas began in 2006, when Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections.

In the following year, clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of parts of the occupied West Bank.

The groups have made failed attempts at national reconciliation for years, most recently in 2012, when they signed two agreements -- one in Cairo and a subsequent one in Doha -- which have as of yet been entirely unimplemented.
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