Failure of Fatah-Hamas Talks in Doha

Reconciliation talks took a negative turn Saturday when the Hamas movement accused Fatah of being behind the failure of the day’s meeting in Doha, by surrounding the issues of employment and the legislative council.

Rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas have traded blame for the failure of Doha-hosted talks aimed at implementing a 2014 reconciliation agreement, Anadolu Agency reported.

“The Doha talks showed that Hamas was not yet ready for national unity and political partnership,” Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

He stressed that Fatah would continue its efforts to end the division between the two political factions, and will continue “calling upon Hamas to head towards real national unity.”

He claimed that Hamas movement only cares for resolving the group’s financial difficulties.

“What Hamas has proposed in Doha was only meant to obstruct dialogue and undermine efforts aimed at healing rifts,” he said, giving no further details about the content of Hamas’ proposals during the talks.

Hamas Spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement on Saturday that Fatah officials had allegedly recounted on previous agreements made in past sessions, something Fatah officials denied.

Abu Zuhri blamed Fatah for the failure of the Doha talks. Abu Zuhri added that the Fatah delegation did not complete the day’s scheduled meetings and withdrew during the second session.

He said Fatah group, which is led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has pulled back on promises to “revive the Palestinian Legislative Council (parliament) and resolve the problem of Gaza employees, who have not been paid for months.

“Fatah insists on imposing the platform of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is rejected by Hamas,” he said.

In the statement, Hamas held the Fatah leadership entirely responsible for “failing” today’s meeting, stressing that there was no “political will to achieve reconciliation” on the part of Fatah.

The current round of talks between Fatah and Hamas — the third of its kind– began on Wednesday in the Qatari capital of Doha with a focus on continuing discussions on strategies for implementing a reconciliation agreement.
In March, the two political parties also held reconconciliation talks in Doha, with Fatah and Hamas delegations discussing implementations of a viable reconciliation agreement.

The meeting is the latest in a series of attempts to reconcile the two movements since they came into a violent conflict in 2007, shortly after Hamas’ 2006 victory in general elections held in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian leadership has repeatedly failed to follow through on promises of reconciliation and holding of long-overdue elections, as both movements have frequently blamed each other for numerous political failures.

In April 2014, Hamas and Fatah signed a long-awaited reconciliation agreement that called for the formation of a Palestinian unity government tasked with overseeing Palestinian legislative and presidential polls.

Although the unity government was unveiled two months later, it has yet to take on a governing role in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, while the relationship between the two factions remains beset by a host of longstanding differences.

Representatives of the two rival groups held a series of meetings in Doha in an effort to discuss means of implementing the agreement, but no breakthrough has been made.