Palestinian National Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh met in Algeria on Tuesday for the first time in nearly six years.
The meeting was arranged by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
Only hours earlier, the two Palestinian leaders were seen standing far apart during a ceremony marking Algeria Independence.
Algerian media called the meeting “historic”, and said it was held after “years of uneasy relations” between the two. Hamas and PA representatives were attending the meeting, but the topic of their discussion remains unknown.
Their last meeting was held in Qatar in 2016, which was arranged by Qatar’s Foreign Affairs Minister.
The rift between the PA and Hamas began in 2007, when the Islamist group took control of the Gaza Strip by violence, after losing Parliamentary elections the year before.
Since then, a number of attempts to bring about a reconciliation between the factions, were made, but with no success.
Last year Abbas announced an indefinite suspension of parliamentary elections in the PA, which were to take place for the first time since the conflict began,
In a speech he gave in April 2021 the president said Israel was to blamed for the suspension because it refused to allow ballots to be opened in Eastern Jerusalem.