Divisions remain as Hamas-Fatah reconciliation talks due to start


Rival Palestinian movements Hamas and Fatah began on Tuesday a new phase of reconciliation talks under the supervision of Egyptian authorities.

"Egypt has made unprecedented efforts towards the reconciliation file due to the changing regional and worldwide political stances".

He explained however that this process will not take place overnight.

An Israeli tank has shelled a post of the Islamist Hamas movement in Gaza after Palestinians attempted to fire a rocket into Israel, its army said.

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But divisions remain even over the parameters for the upcoming talks.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Azzam al-Ahmad (C) of the mainstream Fatah movement walks to a meeting with a Hamas delegation at a hotel in Cairo following reconciliation talks on September 24, 2014 in the Egyptian capital.

A Fatah official in Cairo, Samih Barzaq, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the measures taken by the PA against Gaza employees would be lifted "very soon".

Security will be the main focus of the talks, including the possible deployment of 3,000 Fatah security officers who would join a Gaza police force over the course of a year, restoring much of Abbas' influence in Gaza and further loosening Hamas' grip. In August, a suicide bomber allegedly linked to the Islamic State group killed a Hamas guard in southern Gaza along the border with Egypt, in a rare attack against the Islamists. This includes holding general elections.

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Abbas has said he won't allow any unity government to be formed without all Palestinian weapons coming under the control of the PA.

"No one inside or outside of the Palestinian territories can object to the results because whoever wins them will be a Palestinian and he would have won through the votes of his fellow citizens", he stressed.

The deal, brokered by Egypt, follows a cabinet meeting in Gaza last week, marking the return to work of the unity government.

The cabinet expressed its readiness to assume all duties in Gaza with the approval of concerned factions.

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