Disagreement over strategy?
Hamas and Fatah representatives on Thursday met in the Gaza Strip ahead of the Palestinian bid for full membership at the United Nations.
The two factions signed a reconciliation pact last May, but have yet to resolve core disagreements or establish a unity government, as stipulated in the pact.
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According to Palestinian news agency Maan, Hamas official Ismail Radwan stated that the sides are at odds over the strategy the Palestinians should peruse, but noted that "the main thing is to protect the national unity."
Meanwhile, Hamas Spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri called the statehood bid led by the Palestinian Authority a "symbolic" act, adding that "the Palestinian people will accept nothing less than the (Palestinian) flag waving above the United Nations building.
"Even if this move is carried out, it will not oblige the (Israeli) occupation to withdraw one step from the land of Palestine," he said, stressing that Fatah acted alone and did not take Hamas' stance into consideration.
Hamas officials have dismissed Abbas' plan to seek recognition at the United Nations, calling it a "cosmetic move that will not lead to any results." The Islamic movement also issued a directive forbidding to hold protests in Gaza in support of the statehood bid.
Also on Thursday, Fatah Central Committee member Zakaria al-Ara, who resides in Gaza, told the Egyptian news agency that "the Palestinian Authority and (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas will not back down from the decision to appeal to the UN.
"The decision is irreversible after Israel's stubbornness and its continuous persecution of the Palestinian people. The government of Israel doesn’t want peace or serious, practical negotiations," al-Ara noted.
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