Senior Fatah, Hamas leaders meet in Gaza

April 9th, 2009 - 1:41 am ICT by IANS  

Gaza, April 9 (DPA) Leaders of the rival Hamas and Fatah movements held a meeting in Hamas-ruled Gaza Wednesday to discuss reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and mutual reconciliation.
The meeting between the two movements’ leaders is the first of its kind since Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007 following weeks of bloodshed between the two groups’ warring militants.

Four Fatah leaders, headed by Abdallah el-Ifranji arrived at the office of Hamas spokesman in Gaza Ayman Taha to hold talks with four Hamas leaders headed by senior Hamas leader Salah el-Bardawil.

On Tuesday, Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent el-Ifranji and another Fatah leader to the Gaza Strip to look at the damage caused by a 22-day Israeli military offensive on the enclave that ended Jan 18.

A series of talks were held in Cairo last month between the two movements as well as with leaders of other Palestinian factions, but these failed to agree on the outstanding issues, mainly the formation of a new unity government.

After Hamas took control of Gaza, Abbas sacked the Hamas national unity government and nominated a new government headed by Salam Fayyad. Hamas kept its government in Gaza and rejected Abbas’ decree.

Fatah and Hamas have also agreed to hold another meeting in Cairo April 26.

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