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Fatah official: Rivalry with Hamas will become history

April 21, 2014 11:01 A.M. (Updated: April 23, 2014 7:30 P.M.)
CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said Monday he is optimistic that political tensions between Fatah and Hamas will come to an end following upcoming reconciliation talks in Gaza.

Al-Ahmad, who is currently in Egypt, told Ma'an that a PLO delegation of five members will travel to Gaza from the West Bank within 48 hours to meet top Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Mousa Abu Marzouq.

"We are going to Gaza not to propose new suggestions, but rather to carry out a clear mission which is to end the state of disagreement and address three decisive issues," al-Ahmad said.

"We are going to address the formation of a national consensus government, elections and restructuring the PLO in order to maintain Palestinian unity so we can dedicate our efforts to confronting Israeli occupation."

The meeting will likely set a deadline for forming a unity government which will begin implementing the Cairo agreement.

Egyptian security forces will allow Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouq to cross into Gaza via the Rafah crossing on Monday, officials said.

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

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

The factions 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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