Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal
Photo: AFP

Hamas says in final stage of Fatah reconciliation

Politburo chief Khaled Mashaal travels to Saudi Arabia for mediation efforts, says 'great strides made' toward reconciliation with rival Fatah faction

Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal said on Sunday the Islamist group was in the final stages of achieving reconciliation with the rival Palestinian Fatah party after he met Saudi Arabian officials to try to narrow the rift.


"We achieved great strides towards achieving reconciliation," Mashaal told reporters at the foreign ministry during a visit to the Saudi capital. "We are in the final stages now."


An Egyptian proposal to promote reconciliation between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah group has called for presidential and legislative elections to be held in the West Bank and Gaza Strip next June.


Mashaal said Hamas still had some points to resolve in the Egyptian proposal.


"We all agree that the signing of the (reconciliation) will take place in Cairo," he said.


Mashaal's visit with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal was designed to help reconciliation of the feud, Saudi officials said.


"We still hope that the kingdom plays a special role alongside Egypt and Arab countries to help us first succeed in sponsoring the Palestinian reconciliation and unify the Palestinian position and also to prompt Arabs to confront the stubborn Israeli administration," Mashaal said.

Hamas rules the Gaza Strip, which was hammered by an Israeli military offensive in late 2008. Israel pulled out of the cramped Mediterranean enclave in 2005 and, after driving out the mainstream Fatah movement in 2007, Hamas took full power in an election.


Abbas's Palestinian Authority runs the Israeli-occupied West Bank.


Hamas, which is backed by Iran, does not recognize Israel's right to exist and opposes the Fatah strategy pursued by Abbas of seeking to negotiate a permanent peace deal.


Hamas is not part of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was founded in 1964 and is recognized internationally as the representative body of the Palestinians.


Mashaal's trip followed a state visit by Abbas and US President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy George Mitchell will also visit Saudi in the coming days.


פרסום ראשון: 01.03.10, 14:49
 new comment
This will delete your current comment