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Hamas: Reconciliation talks between delegations, not leadership

Feb. 4, 2016 12:03 P.M. (Updated: March 12, 2016 11:36 A.M.)
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has been based in Doha since he abandoned Damascus in 2012 (AFP/Faisal al-Tamimi, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas said Wednesday that no meetings have been scheduled between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal as part of the latest reconciliation initiative.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said the talks between rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas would only see involve representative delegations from the two movements.

Ahmad Bahr, a member of Hamas and deputy speaker for the Palestinian parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), said during a press conference in Gaza City on Tuesday that the latest initiative hoped to establish a national unity government composed of all Palestinian factions

He said that as soon as this government was formed, it was hoped the PLC would convene, in what would be its first session since 2007.

Bahr said the initiative would also agree on dates for legislative, presidential, and national council elections across the occupied Palestinian territory, and would work toward new elections for the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the PLO's legislative body.

He called on Fatah and Hamas to meet their "historical, national, and humanitarian responsibilities" to reunite the Palestinians, and applauded the upcoming meeting between the two movements in Doha this week.

The meeting, currently scheduled for Feb. 6, was announced by Hamas official Ismail Radwan on Saturday and is the latest in a series of attempts to reconcile the two movements since they violently fell out with one another in 2007.

The Palestinian leadership has repeatedly failed to follow through on promises of reconciliation and holding of long-overdue elections. Both movements have frequently blamed each other over these failures.
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