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Fatah, Hamas continue unity talks in Gaza

May 26, 2014 12:49 P.M. (Updated: May 26, 2014 8:37 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Fatah and Hamas officials will meet on Monday to continue negotiations about forming a unity government, which is expected to be announced this week.

Fatah officials Azzam al-Ahmad and Faisal Abu Shahla will travel to Gaza for the talks, which will focus on selecting candidates for ministerial positions in the government.

Al-Ahmad told Ma'an last week that the new government should be ready by May 28 or 29.

Senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouq said the new government will be neither Hamas nor Fatah dominated but be tasked with preparing legislative and presidential elections, community reconciliation, and rebuilding Gaza.

Last week, President Mahmoud Abbas informed current premier Rami Hamdallah that he had been chosen to head the consensus government.

Hamas had no objection to the appointment.

Several Palestinian political factions, such as the PFLP and DFLP, have said that they have been excluded from unity discussions.

The expected national consensus government could become "a government for managing the Hamas-Fatah disagreement," officials told Ma'an last week.

On April 23, Hamas and the PLO, dominated by Abbas' Fatah party, signed a surprise reconciliation deal aimed at forging a unified administration.

Under the deal, the two sides were to form an "independent government" of technocrats, headed by Abbas, paving the way for long-delayed elections.
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