Palestinian Fatah and Hamas groups meet for reconciliation talks

Posted Apr 21, 2014 by Paul Iddon
Since Hamas entrenched itself in power in Gaza following its victory in the 2006 election, relations between the two Palestinian power blocs have been tense to say the least. Now there are new unity efforts and talks between the two.
A Bethlehem Hamas rally
A Bethlehem Hamas rally
As The Jerusalem Post reports Hamas, which governs the Palestinian Gaza Strip territory, has agreed to release 10 "Fatah-affiliated" prisoners as a gesture to the Fatah Palestinian Authority, which governs the Palestinian West Bank.
The Palestinian Ma'an News Agency also informs us that the senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouq came to Gaza through the Rafah crossing from Egypt where he is based. There he met with both Hamas and Fatah officials to discuss reconciliation between the two former rivals.
A senior Fatah official named Azzam al-Ahmad has said he is very optimistic about these talks. He stated that,
"We are going to Gaza not to propose new suggestions, but rather to carry out a clear mission which is to end the state of disagreement and address three decisive issues. We are going to address the formation of a national consensus government, elections and restricting the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] in order to maintain Palestinian unity so we can dedicate our efforts to confronting Israeli occupation."
Haaretz also tells us that the Gaza Interior Ministry has given its full support for these talks and efforts.
The fallout between the two Palestinian groups came following the election victory of Hamas over Fatah in 2006 in the Gaza Strip. Hamas would go on to seize full control of the Gaza Strip and purge the territory in 2007 of its political rivals. Many Palestinians were killed during that very violent year in Gaza.