The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, said on Tuesday that it hopes that the Algerian conference for Palestinian factions will lead to the implementation of deals agreed by the groups, Anadolu has reported. The conference was announced by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune when he met the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas on 8 December.
"We stress the importance of holding the Palestinian conference in Algeria," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Algerian International Radio. "In the light of the normalisation wave in the region, the most important thing is giving room to the Algerian role in relation to the Palestinian cause."
Hamas, he added, is keen to attend the conference in Algeria and benefit from the Algerians who "stand at the same distance" from all of the Palestinian factions.
The Palestinians have suffered from an internal political split since 2007 when the secular Fatah movement refused to accept the election result which brought Hamas to power. Israel, some Arab states, and the international community supported Fatah and the resultant chaos despite the fact that the election was judged by independent observers to be "free and transparent". Israel and its allies, including Egypt, have imposed a siege on the Gaza Strip ever since.
Numerous talks between the factions mediated by Arab governments and international parties have failed because of the insistence by Fatah that Hamas must first recognise Israel and existing agreements with the occupation state.
Last year, all of the Palestinian factions agreed that a parliamentary election should be held, followed by a presidential election and one for the Palestinian National Council. They were scheduled for May this year. However, just days before they were due to take place, Abbas issued a presidential decree postponing them, claiming that his decision was due to an Israeli ban on Jerusalemites taking part in the polls.
Critics claim that he was pressured by Israel and its allies into cancelling the elections because of the likelihood that Hamas would win, or at least gain a substantial number of seats in the Palestinian parliament, the Legislative Council. Once again, they say, the people of Palestine are being denied their right to choose their political leadership and have their choice accepted by the international community.