Palestinian factions agree to resume talks after Eid

DAMASCUS — Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agreed to resume reconciliation talks after next week’s Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, officials from both sides said on Wednesday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Fri 12 Nov 2010, 1:15 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:09 AM

“We agreed to continue the dialogue after the Al-Adha holidays,” which start in the middle of next week depending on the sighting of the moon, Hamas official Mussa Abu Marzuq told AFP.

“After the feast, we will fix a date,” said Abu Marzuq, who led the latest round of talks with Fatah’s Azzam al-Ahmed, which began on Tuesday evening in the Syrian capital Damascus.

“We underlined the questions on which we agree, but outstanding issues remain over the question of security, which we must examine,” he added, without giving details.

Shortly before the talks, senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said in Gaza that the negotiations “will not resolve all the disagreements” between the Islamists, who control the territory, and the Fatah group of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

The two sides held a first series of talks on September 23.

A senior Hamas official in the West Bank, Omar Abdul Razek, said that Israel’s arrest of Hamas MP Mahmud al-Ramahi from his home in the territory’s political headquarters Ramallah was aimed at sabotaging the talks.

“There is no justification for Ramahi’s arrest unless Israel’s aim is to sabotage the reconciliation process,” Abdul Razak told AFP.

Ramahi, who is secretary of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the body’s third most senior member, was detained at around 3 am (0100 GMT) on Wednesday, Hamas sources in Ramallah told AFP.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said Ramahi had been detained “for being involved in recent Hamas activities.”

“He was taken in for security questioning,” she told AFP, adding that Ramahi was one of 11 people arrested by Israeli forces in the West Bank during the night.

The long-time political rivals have been fiercely divided since Hamas seized power in Gaza in a bloody rout of Abbas’s forces in 2007, limiting his authority to the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Several previous attempts to reconcile the groups have failed, with each side accusing the other of undermining trust by persecuting political rivals in the territory under its control.

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