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Hamas, PLO begin 2nd day of reconciliation talks in Gaza

April 23, 2014 1:09 P.M. (Updated: April 26, 2014 9:55 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A second meeting between Hamas officials and a PLO delegation from the West Bank will take place Wednesday in the home of Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a Fatah spokesman said.

Fayiz Abu Eitah told Ma'an that the meeting would discuss issues that had not been addressed during Tuesday's meeting between Palestinian officials.

A day earlier, a PLO delegation arrived in Gaza for the latest round of reconciliation talks with Hamas.

Early Wednesday, Palestinian officials announced the formation of national unity government within the "next five weeks."

"There has also been progress on the holding of future elections and the composition of the PLO," a Palestinian official said without giving further details.

A member of the delegation told Ma'an that a "road map plan" had been agreed upon during talks on Tuesday.

The plan would form a unity government between Hamas and the PLO and would carry out presidential and parliamentary elections within six months, Bassam al-Salihi said.

It is not the first time that a national unity government has been announced by the rival factions, and on several previous occasions attempts to form an administration have collapsed.

The division between Fatah and Hamas began in 2006, when Hamas won 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.

AFP contributed to this report.
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