Senior Fatah leader visits Gaza for talks with Hamas
A senior official from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party arrived in the Gaza Strip Wednesday, the first such visit by a high-ranking member of party since Hamas seized control of the salient in June 2007, DPA reported.
Nabil Shaath, a former Palestinian Foreign Minister, told reporters as he crossed into the enclave that he had come to hold talks with senior Hamas officials, and representatives of other Palestinian factions in the Strip.
He will stay two days in the salient and his talks will focus on ending the current division between Hamas and Fatah, sparked by the week of bloody gun battles in June 2007, when Hamas gunmen routed security forces loyal to Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, and took sole control of the Gaza Strip.
Attempts to reconcile the Islamist Hamas movement and the secular Fatah faction have so far failed.
Shaath denied he had asked Hamas for permission to visit the Strip, saying that "we do not need permission to visit our homeland." However, he said, he had notified Hamas leaders on his visit who told him that he would be welcome.