Hamas and Fatah meet in Gaza before UN bid

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Political rivals Fatah and Hamas met Thursday evening in Gaza City, in a surprise discussion which touched on the upcoming Palestinian bid for membership of the UN.

Fatah national relations commissioner Diab al-Loh told Ma’an that officials from both factions discussed the reconciliation agreement which has faltered in implementation since its signing in May.

Al-Loh had said on Wednesday that the next meeting on reconciliation would be held on Sept. 24, after Hamas asked to postpone the summit originally scheduled for the coming Saturday.

After Thursday’s meeting al-Loh said the groups also discussed the UN bid. President and Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas is due to deliver a speech outlining the strategy at the UN in Ramallah on Friday.

Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said the meeting focused on the unresolved facets of the reconciliation, and insisted that the issue of political detainees should be addressed first.

On the UN bid, Radwan said each party has its own point of view, but the main priority is the protection of national unity.

The Hamas official added that parties talked about making further efforts to have more meetings.

Al-Loh told Ma’an that present at the meeting were himself, Fatah Revolutionary Committee Member Abdullah Abu Samhadaneh and Hisham Abdul Razeq from Fatah, and President of Hamas’ security committee Ismael Al-Ashqar, Ismail Radwan and Khalil Nofal from Hamas.

The reconciliation deal signed in Cairo on May 4 set out a path for the creation of a transitional government of technocrats and an end to the animosity which has split the Palestinians into two camps since 2007.

In August, Fatah and Hamas agreed to delay efforts to implement the reconciliation agreement until September.

President Abbas and the Fatah-dominated government in Ramallah have championed the state-building moves including institutional reform and financial strengthening, leading to the bid for UN membership scheduled for Sept. 23.

Hamas have dismissed the move as “a cosmetic step that will not bring any useful result to the Palestinian people,” and refused to allow popular protests in Gaza in support of the UN proposal.

( www.maannews.net /15.09.2011)

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