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Hamas, Islamic Jihad invited to attend Fatah conference

Nov. 27, 2016 6:59 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 28, 2016 12:43 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- The Hamas movement is currently discussing the possibility of attending Fatah’s seventh conference later this week, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasim told Ma’an on Sunday.

The announcement came almost a week after Hamas denied reports that it had been invited to attend the congress.

Qasim said that Hamas had recently received an invitation to attend the Nov. 29 event in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shihab told Ma’an that the political faction had also received an invitation to the conference, and that it would send a representative to participate.

The relationship between Hamas and Fatah has been in a dire state after a government of national consensus was dissolved in June 2015, one year after it was first announced.

The two Palestinian parties have had particularly tense relations since Hamas won legislative elections in 2006 and became the ruling party in the Gaza Strip.

Relations were further fragilized when municipal elections, the first elections to take place in the Gaza Strip in a decade, were postponed in September following a controversial decision by the Fatah-run Supreme Court in Ramallah.

Meanwhile, Fatah has witnessed growing internal dissent, with the party discharging a number of officials from their functions in past months or otherwise preventing them from attending the party’s conference.

Fatah’s previous congress was held in 2009, and there have been speculations that the upcoming conference may address the pressing issue of preparing for the future of Fatah, the Palestinian Authority, and the Palestine Liberation Organization after President Mahmoud Abbas.
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