Hamas, four factions agree to resume dialogue

August 17th, 2008 - 6:32 am ICT by IANS  

Gaza, Aug 17 (DPA) The Islamic Hamas movement and four Palestinian factions agreed Saturday to resume an internal dialogue aimed at reconciliation, for which they welcomed Egyptian and Arab support. Representatives of Hamas, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Democratic Front, People’s Party and Islamic Jihad held a meeting in Gaza Saturday to discuss ways to restart talks.

The five groups said in a joint statement that they welcomed the resumption of the inter-Palestinian dialogue, which would be based on previous national agreements.

They agreed to end the internal split between Gaza and the West Bank, activate the Palestinian Parliament - better known as the Palestinian Legislative Council, and rebuild Palestine Liberation Organization through democratic elections, the statement said.

The factions’ representatives also said they would end “the mutual campaigns of incitement” and release “all the political prisoners of both sides.”

The five factions agreed to form a committee to follow up the dialogue between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas. Kayed el- Ghoul, a senior PFLP leader, said a meeting with the Fatah movement leaders will be held Monday in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Qatar has also entered the mediation efforts between Fatah and Hamas, Palestinian sources said.

“Qatar, as a state of strategic weight in the region, seeks to sponsor the mediation between Hamas and Fatah to end the internal split and reunite the two wings of Palestine,” the sources said.

The split was made last year when Hamas ousted Fatah from Gaza and seized control of the coastal Strip. Fatah was driven out to the West Bank where it consolidated its rule while Hamas tightened its grip on Gaza.

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