Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas to hold talks in Ankara

The two rivals will discuss ending the internal division and holding general elections.

Rival Palestinian factions hold rare joint meeting over Israel-UAE deal
Palestinian leaders watch the speech of Hamas leader Ismail Haniya via videoconference during a virtual meeting with Palestinian factions over Israel and the United Arab Emirates's deal to normalise ties, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [File: Alaa Badarneh/Reuters]

Palestinian party Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA) government in the occupied West Bank, will meet a Hamas delegation in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Tuesday as follow-up from a meeting earlier this month of the heads of Palestinian factions.

The two rivals will discuss ending the internal division from when the Hamas movement took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after a pre-emptive coup by Fatah.

They will also hold talks on developing a strategy to face the challenges facing Palestinian causes, mainly President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan as well as the recent normalisation of relations – by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain – with Israel.

On its official Twitter account, Fatah announced its delegation – which includes the Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajoub – arrived in Turkey “to hold meetings with a delegation from Hamas that includes its leader and his deputy about ending the division and implementing the recommendations of the general-secretaries’ meeting”.

A member of the Hamas political bureau, Khalil al-Hayya, said the meeting is an “extension of the dialogues between the Palestinian forces, to implement the outcomes of the meeting of the general-secretaries of the factions that took place in Ramallah”.

Al-Hayya added Hamas was eager to achieve national unity to lead a comprehensive national strategy in the face of challenges and plans that target the Palestinian cause.

General elections

On September 3, PA President Mahmoud Abbas held a meeting where the heads of Palestinian factions agreed to consolidate a peaceful transfer of power through free and fair elections according to proportional representation.

Earlier, Rajoub had announced the Palestinians were heading in the direction of general elections, adding that “their decision is in their hands, far from the influence and care of any regional party”.

The Palestinians have not held general elections since 2006, and the internal division began a year later due to the conflict that took place between Fatah and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Since then, all attempts by the two sides to reconcile have failed.

Source: Al Jazeera