First Published: 2017-10-10

Palestinian rivals start reconciliation talks in Cairo
As Palestinian parties attempt reconciliation, both Fatah and Hamas remain sharply at odds over future of Hamas' 25,000 strong armed wing.
Middle East Online

Palestinian policeman stands by poster of Egyptian president Sisi in Gaza City, Palestine.

CAIRO - Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas began detailed negotiations behind closed doors in Cairo on Tuesday on ending their crippling decade-long split, a delegate said.

The talks follow a key breakthrough last week when Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah visited Hamas-run Gaza for the first time since 2015 and his ministers officially took control of government departments there.

"The dialogue committee for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas started work under Egyptian sponsorship," the Hamas delegate said.

The talks "began in the headquarters of the Egyptian intelligence to examine the files to enable a Palestinian national unity government to work in the Gaza Strip," he added.

Azzam al-Ahmad, who heads the Fatah delegation, said earlier that the main point of discussion would be "empowering the government in Gaza".

The Islamists of Hamas and the West Bank-based Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas have been at odds since they fought a near civil war in 2007.

The split has complicated any potential peace negotiations with Israel.

Multiple previous attempts at reconciliation have failed but the latest Egyptian-led push received a major boost last month when Hamas agreed to cede civil power in Gaza.

The two sides remain sharply at odds, however, over the future of Hamas's 25,000-strong armed wing, which the Islamists say is non-negotiable.

Senior figures in the Fatah delegation include intelligence chief Majed Faraj and Fayez Abu Eita, a party leader in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian official news agency Wafa said.

Newly appointed Hamas deputy leader Salah al-Aruri and the movement's Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar will lead the Hamas delegation, a spokesman said.

 

Pentagon skeptical about Russia's Syria pullout claims

Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

EU accused of complicity in Libya migrant rights violations

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Israeli sentenced to four years for arson attack on church

Erdogan risks sabotaging fragile relations with Israel

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

Two Gazans killed by Israeli ‘strike’, Israel denies claim

French FM accuses Iran of carving out ‘axis’ of influence

Somali journalist killed in front of children

Over 170 dead after South Sudan rival cattle herders clash

Russia begins partial withdrawal from Syria

Russia weary of returning IS jihadists before World Cup, election

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS