- Title: GAZA/JERUSALEM: Fatah and Hamas may hold reconcilation talks after Ramadan ends
- Date: 12th October 2007
- Summary: (BN09) GAZA CITY, GAZA (OCTOBER 11, 2007) (REUTERS) VIEW OF GAZA CITY STREETS VARIOUS OF RESIDENTS OF GAZA IN THE STREETS BUYING FOOD IN MARKETS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) KHALED MUSTAFA, RESIDENT OF GAZA, SAYING: "God willing and this is what we are asking for, for them to have an agreement. Without an agreement we have no case and there is no solution. We ask the Arabic and Islamic countries to help them agree, that's all." MORE OF MARKET IN GAZA CITY (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IBRAHEEM ODEH, RESIDENT OF GAZA, SAYING: "Because the people are one people, whether we said yes or no, we have to unite. We have no other option but that." MEN WALKING IN MARKET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MAHER TAFISH, RESIDENT OF BEACH REFUGEE CAMP IN GAZA CITY, SAYING: "There is no trust, if there was real trust we could have an agreement. There is no trust between the leadership from both sides. Their hearts are not clear." VIEW OF MOSQUE WITH HAMAS FLAG ON TOP, PAN OUT TO WIDE OF MOSQUE AND MARKET
- Embargoed: 27th October 2007 12:38
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAEUU4F24J2MN2V855T1KC0ASFN
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: A Hamas spokesman says talks aimed at ending internal conflict between Hamas and Fatah may be held in an undisclosed Arab country after Ramadan ends.
But Palestinians in Gaza have mixed feelings about how effective talks may be.
Members of Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have discussed holding reconciliation talks but the leadership of the latter ruled out negotiations, which Israel warned could "torpedo" a plan for peace.
Palestinian sources familiar with the talks said Fatah official Jibril al-Rajoub had met senior Hamas official Mohammed Nazzal to consider easing factional fighting. But Fatah leaders said Rajoub was a loose cannon and ruled out dialogue.
Israel, which is trying to bolster Abbas and sideline the Islamist group, said talks between the rival factions could "torpedo" efforts ahead of a U.S.-sponsored peace conference to reach a deal on Palestinian statehood.
Hamas seized control of Gaza after violent clashes with Fatah in June.
That prompted Abbas to sack a Hamas-dominated government.
Ismail Haniyeh, who was dismissed as prime minister in a Hamas-led government dismissed by Abbas after Hamas seized Gaza, said late on Wednesday Hamas was ready to hold talks with Fatah and hinted it might be ready to give up control of the enclave.
Hamas forces routed Fatah in a June civil war in Gaza, prompting Abbas to sack a Hamas-led Palestinian government and appoint an administration backed by Fatah.
In the West Bank, residents expressed hope and doubt that dialogue will take place and come up with fruitful results.
Israel and the West have shunned the Islamist group until it recognises the Jewish state's right to exist. Israel, which is trying to bolster Abbas and sideline Hamas, said dialogue with Hamas could "torpedo" efforts to create a Palestinian state.
A Fatah official said on Thursday (October 10) the meeting between Rajoub and Nazzal was "non-binding" and said Rajoub, a one-time senior Fatah security official who has been pushing for talks with Hamas, was acting in his own capacity.
The official said an international boycott of Hamas, including an Israeli blockade of Gaza's borders, was starting to bite and said Haniyeh was desperate.
One source close to the talks said an exiled hard line Hamas leader would arrive in Cairo next week to prepare for talks between the factions.
The source said talks would also touch on a Hamas ceasefire with Israel that could include a prisoner swap deal. A Palestinian official said last month a prominent Hamas official tried to open discussions with Israel to ease confrontation in Gaza but was rebuffed by the Jewish state.
Cairo-based senior Fatah leader, Nabil Shaath, said he had been approached by independent Palestinians in Gaza about talks with Hamas but said no firm steps had been taken.
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