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Fatah closes door to reconciliation with Hamas

Senior Fatah leader and the head of its delegation to the reconciliation talks with Hamas, Azzam Al-Ahmad, said: “Fatah is studying measures to be taken in Gaza in order to put more pressure on Hamas, without affecting residents.” [Ahmed Gamil/Anadolu Agency]

Fatah has closed the door in the face of reconciliation with its rival Hamas, Arab48 reported on Friday.

According to the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas will hold a meeting next week to call for “more sanctions to be imposed on Gaza in order to push Hamas to hand over the government”.

Senior Fatah leader and the head of its delegation to the reconciliation talks with Hamas, Azzam Al-Ahmad, said: “Fatah is studying measures to be taken in Gaza in order to put more pressure on Hamas, without affecting residents.”

Meanwhile, another member of the Fatah delegation, Hussein Al-Sheikh, said:

The dialogue with Hamas, which has been going on for 12 years, is a dialogue with the deaf. It is a waste of time and a reinforcement of the division [between the two parties]. There will be no partnership with Hamas in the PLO or a national government unless it ends its coup in Gaza.

READ: Fatah delegation leaves Egypt after reconciliation talks

Arab48 cited Al-Ahmad speaking to Palestine TV: “We do not trust Hamas. We are sure it has no intention of ending the division. Hamas has to hand over all its responsibilities.”

Regarding Fatah’s last visit to Egyptian capital Cairo for reconciliation talks, Al-Ahmad said: “There were no Egyptian proposals. We only listened to Hamas’ ideas through the Egyptian officials. After a two-hour meeting, we told them everything is rejected.”

Hamas condemned the Fatah leaders remarks, labeling them a blow to reconciliation efforts. It added that the comments reflect Fatah’s “negative intentions” towards reconciliation and the besieged Gaza Strip in general.

Fatah and Hamas have been engaged in a fierce dispute since the latter won the last Palestinian elections to be held in 2006. Following Hamas’ victory, Fatah refused to hand over the government, leading to a civil war between the two factions and an eventual split in 2007. The parties have since failed to reach a reconciliation.

READ: Fatah: Qatar supporting internal Palestinian division

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