Hamas, Fatah resume reconciliation talks in Cairo

Israel Materials 27 April 2009 14:50 (UTC +04:00)

Rival Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah kicked off a fourth round of reconciliation talks in Cairo on Monday, which were delayed a day after the schedule, Xinhua reported.

The two factions are expected to discuss the formation of a unity government acceptable to the international community to secure the lift of the closure on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Hamas is set to present its vision which is based on an Egyptian proposal to form a national committee to liaise between Hamas' Gaza administration and the Western-backed government which is based in West Bank.

Ali Baraka, a Hamas official, said his movement "will put forward new proposals which would be medial and able to satisfy all the factions, including Fatah, and the Egyptian mediators."
If this round of dialogue failed, Egypt suggests the formation of another committee including other factions, Baraka revealed.

This committee would be assigned to oversee the reconstruction of Gaza following the latest Israeli massive offensive that ended in January in which more than 1,300 Palestinians were killed and thousands of installations and houses were destroyed.

Baraka said Hamas welcomed the Egyptian initiative towards the Gaza reconstruction but Fatah has not commented on that offer. He accused Fatah of yielding before American conditions on the dialogue.

Meanwhile, a number of other Palestinian factions, including the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), criticized the fourth round of dialogue because it only involves Hamas and Fatah.

"This is a bilateral dialogue that will get us back to the zero point," a joint statement by the factions said. "This is a monopolistic dialogue that excludes most of the representatives of the Palestinian people."

Hamas and Fatah have failed to reach an agreement on a unity government in previous talks due to differences over the political platform of the would-be government.

Hamas refuses to join any government that recognizes Israel and previous peace deals and renounces violence.