Middle EastPalestine

Hamas, Fatah begin talks over transitional government

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The two main Palestinian political factions of Hamas and Fatah have begun talks to form a transitional government.

In another step toward reconciliation and unity, the talks between senior officials from the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas and Fatah party leaders started in the besieged Gaza Strip late on Tuesday.

Reports said that acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas has ordered his delegation to strike a deal with Hamas on the new government.

Salah al-Bardaweel, a spokesman for Hamas, said earlier in the day that Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior member of Fatah, would arrive in the Gaza Strip from the West Bank city of Ramallah later on Tuesday.

“Al-Ahmad will arrive in Gaza to hold talks with Hamas leadership on the formation of the agreed-upon transitional technocrat unity government,” said al-Bardaweel.

The two sides have reportedly exchanged lists of ministerial candidates so far.

On April 23, Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which includes Fatah, pledged to settle their differences and form a unity government. Under the long-awaited deal, Hamas and Fatah are to establish the unity government within five weeks and hold national elections six months later.

The Israeli regime reacted to the act of reconciliation among the Palestinians by canceling the so-called peace talks with the Palestinian Authority and threatening sanctions against it.

The besieged Gaza Strip is administered by Hamas while the Palestinian Authority governs parts of the West Bank.

Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006. The dispute marginalized Hamas governance to the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip. Fatah, however, set up headquarters in the Israel-occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.

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