Yemen unveils new plan to reconcile rival Palestinian factions
Yemen announced on Thursday a new initiative calling on the disputing Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas to resume dialogue and form a national unity government, dpa reported.
Based on a previous Yemeni initiative, the plan calls for the resumption of dialogue between all Palestinian groups, mainly the two main rivals.
The new plan, published by the state media, proposes that the dialogue be sponsored by Egypt, Syria and Turkey.
Fatah and Hamas have been locked in a bitter power struggle since Hamas defeated Fatah in January 2006 democratic parliamentary elections, one year after the moderate Mahmoud Abbas was elected in separate presidential elections on a contrasting platform.
The struggle culminated in Hamas violently seizing sole control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007. Abbas' four-year term as president ended on January 9, but he has vowed to stay in office until new presidential and parliamentary elections can be held simultaneously.
Yemen's new initiative calls for forming a national unity government that includes all the active political forces in the Palestinian territories to supervise legislative and presidential elections within six months.
Under the plan, the Palestinian Authority that is led by Abbas should regain control over the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian security bodies be rebuilt away from the political affiliations.
Yemen managed to bring together negotiators from Hamas and Fatah last March for talks to end the intra-Palestinian dispute.
Fatah and Hamas signed an agreement based on the Yemeni plan, but disagreed later over its interpretation.