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Meetings canceled as Hamas and Fatah reconciliation talks take negative turn

June 18, 2016 10:12 P.M. (Updated: June 23, 2016 4:51 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Reconciliation talks took a negative turn Saturday when the Hamas movement accused Fatah for the failure of the day’s meeting in Doha, surrounding the issues of employment and legislative council.

Hamas Spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement on Saturday that Fatah officials had allegedly recanted previous agreements made in past sessions, something Fatah officials denied.

Abu Zuhri added that the Fatah delegation did not complete the day’s scheduled meetings and withdrew during the second session.

In the statement, Hamas held the Fatah leadership entirely responsible for “failing” today’s meeting, stressing that there was no "political will to achieve reconciliation” on part of Fatah.

Spokesperson for the Fatah movement, Usama al-Qawasmi, said that the delegation headed to Doha with a goal to end division, based on partnership, democracy and forming a national unity government.

Al-Qawasmi added that the Doha meetings showed that Hamas was “not ready yet for national unity and political partnership.”

He stressed that Fatah would continue its efforts to end division between the two political factions, and would continue “calling upon Hamas to head towards real national unity.”

The current round of talks between Fatah and Hamas -- the third of its kind-- began on Wednesday in the Qatari capital of Doha with a focus on continuing discussions on strategies for implementing a reconciliation agreement.

In March, the two political parties also held reconciliation talks in Doha, with Fatah and Hamas delegations discussing implementations of a viable reconciliation agreement.

The meeting is the latest in a series of attempts to reconcile the two movements since they came into violent conflict in 2007, shortly after Hamas’ 2006 victory in general elections held in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian leadership has repeatedly failed to follow through on promises of reconciliation and holding of long-overdue elections, as both movements have frequently blamed each other for numerous political failures.

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