PLO delegation to visit Gaza soon: Fatah spokesman

By Ola Attalah, Monday, April 07, 2014

GAZA CITY – A delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (POL) is scheduled to arrive in Gaza soon to discuss ways of achieving reconciliation between rival Fatah and Hamas group, a Fatah spokesman said.

"The delegation will not launch a new dialogue," Hassan Ahmed told Anadolu Agency.  "The delegation will implement the reconciliation deal under orders from President Mahmoud Abbas."

He said that the visit will be "decisive" in implementing the reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas.

The Fatah spokesman called on Hamas to cooperate with the PLO delegation to help heal the rift between the two rival groups and join hands against what he described as the "storms" facing the Palestinian cause.

Hamas earlier said that it had no information about the planned visit by the PLO delegation.

The gap between Hamas and Fatah widened dramatically after the former, an ideological offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 polls.

Continued conflict between Hamas and Fatah, the latter of which holds the Palestinian presidency, obliged Hamas to form its own government in Gaza, while Fatah did the same in the West Bank.

Despite their vast differences, particularly over peace talks with Israel, both governments nevertheless maintain considerable coordination, particularly in the education and health sectors.

In 2011, Hamas and Fatah hammered out a reconciliation deal under Egyptian sponsorship. The following year, the two sides agreed to form a unity government headed up by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to prepare for parliamentary polls.

The agreement, however, was never implemented.

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