Mashaal (L) and Abbas during previous meeting (archive photo)
Photo: Reuters

Hamas-Fatah truce enters final stage

Palestinians optimistic ahead of Abbas-Mashaal meeting in Mecca, hope announcement on establishment of unity government will follow; sources tell Ynet all kidnapped Hamas, Fatah members to be released by Tuesday morning

Hamas and Fatah are drafting the final clause in the ceasefire agreement between the rival factions prior to the meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, which is scheduled to take place Tuesday in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.


The truce was agreed upon last Saturday with Egyptian mediation.


The remaining clause relates to the release of the Hamas and Fatah members currently held captive by both sides; Palestinian sources told Ynet that all of the kidnapped activists are expected to be released by Tuesday morning, including the Presidential Guard officers who were captured by Hamas gunmen Monday evening.


The sources said that the joint operations room set up in Gaza recently in a bid to maintain the ceasefire is functioning efficiently, adding that it is dealing with constant complaints received by the Palestinian public regarding breaches of the ceasefire agreement, including weapons possession, roadblocks and forceful takeovers of structures by gunmen.


'It is forbidden to fail'

Armed Fatah and Hamas gunmen began retreating from their positions as early as Sunday in an effort to advance the ceasefire efforts; they were replaced by Palestinian police officers.


The Palestinians hope the Abbas-Mashaal meeting will lead to a major breakthrough that will be followed by an announcement on the establishment of a unity government in the Authority.


In a televised address from Damascus on Sunday Mashaal said, “It is forbidden to fail (in the Mecca talks)," Mashaal said. "I call on all our brothers ... to restrain themselves and to remember our real battle is with Israel.”


More than 20 Palestinians were killed over the weekend during fierce clashes in Gaza. 


פרסום ראשון: 02.06.07, 01:08
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