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Hamas, Fatah leaders issue conflicting statements on reconciliation

Palestinian Fatah movement leader Azzam Al-Ahmad (R) and Deputy Chairman of the Movement's Political Bureau Saleh Al-Arouri (L) shake hands after signing the reconciliation agreement to build a consensus in Cairo, Egypt on 12 October 2017 [Ahmed Gamil/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian Fatah movement leader Azzam Al-Ahmad (R) and Deputy Chairman of the Movement's Political Bureau Saleh Al-Arouri (L) in Cairo, Egypt on 12 October 2017 [Ahmed Gamil/Anadolu Agency]

Senior members of Hamas and Fatah have recently issued conflicting statements on the reconciliation efforts.

On Monday, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, Azzam Al-Ahmad, said in an interview with Al-Ghad, which is affiliated with dismissed Fatah member Mohammed Dahlan, that Hamas is responsible for obstructing Palestinian reconciliation.

"Hamas has not yet sent its response regarding reconciliation and holding the elections," Al-Ahmad said in his interview, adding that after the meeting of the faction that took place in Turkey, Hamas was supposed to send its consent to hold the elections as was agreed.

Al-Ahmad revealed that following the Turkey meeting, he received a telephone call from Hamas leader, Musa Abu Marzouq, asking for a list of other demands that had not been agreed upon.

READ: Fatah is 'waiting for Hamas to approve Istanbul understandings'

Al-Ahmad's statements contradict other statements by fellow Fatah Secretary-General of the Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub, as well as the deputy head of Hamas political bureau, Saleh Al-Arouri, who both said that "things are going in the right direction" regarding the reconciliation file.

Rajoub has recently said that the recent agreements between the Palestinian factions remain the same, adding that the factions "continue to work according to the outcomes of the Palestinian factions' secretaries' meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Istanbul understandings".

Meanwhile, Hamas' Al-Arouri stressed in a press statement that positive and constructive dialogue continues with the Fatah movement and all factions, "to reach a national agreement on a national map that achieves the desired national partnership and increases the Palestinian people's ability to face challenges and plots".

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