Fatah to include Hamas in deciding Palestinian strategy: official

Fatah to include Hamas in deciding Palestinian strategy: official

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party wants to include rival Hamas in deciding choices after failure of talks with Israel, a Fatah official said Sunday, Xinhua reported.

Contacts are underway to arrange a meeting between Abbas and Hamas' chief Khaled Mashaal, said Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah Central Committee.

The meeting was scheduled to take place on the coming Wednesday, but has been postponed because Abbas will be receiving the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon next week.

The meeting will basically look into the Palestinian choices as the peace process with Israel has been stalled since 2010, al-Ahmad told Xinhua.

This month, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held six round of "exploratory" talks in Amman, but on Saturday Abbas accused Israel of foiling the talks by its inflexibility and its refusal to present clear visions regarding the issues of borders and security.

The Quartet, which comprises the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, suggested the exploratory talks because it believes that an agreement on the borders and security will smoothly lead to a final agreement between the two sides.

Last week, a PLO official said that the Palestinian choices include restoring unity, redefining the role of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), seeking a membership in the United Nations and continuing applying for seats in international organizations and agencies.

In 2007, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip after routing forces loyal to Abbas. Since then, Abbas' rule has been confined to the West Bank.

In May, Egypt brokered a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah aimed at restoring political unity to the Palestinian territories through a transitional government and elections.

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