Hamas and Fatah set to reconcile in Doha?

Hamas and Fatah set to reconcile in Doha?
A Hamas-Fatah meeting is to take place in Qatar's capital in a bid to reconcile the rival movements.
2 min read
05 Feb, 2016
Meshaal (l) lives in Qatar, while Abbas rules the roost in the West Bank [AFP]
Representatives of Hamas and Fatah are expected to meet in Doha this weekend to discuss the possibility of political reconciliation, it has emerged.

The delegations expect to discuss issues of "mutual concern" at talks in the Qatari capital on Saturday.

Tensions between the two parties have been heightened since 2007, when Fatah-aligned figures attempted to oust the elected Hamas movement from power. As a result of the internecine fighting which followed, Fatah was effectively routed from the Gaza Strip, while Hamas was pretty much shut down in the West Bank.

The divide has continued ever since, with Hamas the de facto rulers of Gaza, under an international blockade, and Fatah running the West Bank according to its security agreements with the occupying Israeli civil and military authorities.

"The preparation meetings will decide a meeting between Hamas chief Khalid Meshaal, and the Palestinian Authority and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas," Jaber al-Harami, editor-in-chief of the Qatari-owned al-Sharq newspaper, told al-Resalah.

He urged both sides to "break the ice".

The Palestinian factions have attempted a number of reconciliations since the fighting broke out, but have yet to share a platform upon which to build a unified governing body.

The last meeting was held in Cairo in April 2014 and resulted in the signing of an agreement which promised the formation of a unity government as well as presidential and parliamentary elections.

However, the kidnapping of three Israeli settlers, as well as other violent events in the region exerted pressure on the new government.

Al-Harami also mentioned Turkey and Qatar's "strong will" to cooperate with the two factions in an attempt to ease life for those in the Gaza Strip.