Palestinian factions head to Cairo for second round of national dialogue talks
Representatives of Palestinian factions began crossing the Gaza-Egypt border on Monday for the second round of national dialogue talks in Cairo, according to Maan News Agency.
Starting on Tuesday this week, the participants will mainly discuss the upcoming Palestinian National Council's elections.
The PNC is the legislative authority within the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and is responsible for formulating the body's policies.
A delegation headed by the Central Election Committee is also expected to participate in the meetings.
Executive Director of the committee, Hisham Kheil, told Al-Watan Voice that the body was invited upon a request by the factions' secretary generals to explain the electoral verification process and security measures.
Kheil stressed the need for a unified security measure for the elections, citing the split between Gaza and the West Bank as being a logistical hurdle.
"Security coordination is to be further discussed in the next Cairo meeting prior to the elections," he added.
Maan Agency quoted the Consortium of Independent Palestinians (CIP) alleging that the Cairo meetings have been monopolised by Palestinian political factions - the PLO and Hamas - barring non-affiliated figures from taking part.
"We strongly reject the political monopoly exercised by the factions who have 'managed' Palestinian disunity since 2007," the CIP stated.
The CIP aims to end Palestinian disunity and establish a unified national strategy.
During the Cairo meeting in February, Fatah and Hamas and 12 other factions had agreed on the 'mechanisms' for upcoming legislative and presidential elections in May and July this year, after a rapprochement between the two movements.
The last Palestinian parliamentary elections were held in 2006 and resulted in a landslide victory for Hamas.
Hamas and Fatah formed a unity government but it soon collapsed as fighting erupted in the Gaza Strip between the two factions the following year. Hamas accused Fatah of staging a pre-emptive coup.
Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip while Fatah ran the PA in Ramallah.
Numerous attempts at reconciliation through the years have failed, with Hamas maintaining control of Gaza and the PA running the West Bank.
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