Members of the Fatah movement’s central committee Azzam al-Ahmad and Head of Hamas’ politburo Khalid Mashaal met in the Qatari capital of Doha on Thursday with several other Hamas leaders to discuss political reconciliation between the two Palestinian political parties.
According to a statement released by al-Ahmad’s office, Mashaal’s deputy Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas politburo member Moussa Abu Marzouq, and several other Hamas leaders joined the meeting.The Palestinian Ambassador in Doha, Munir Ghannam also attended the meeting, according to the statement.The two Fatah-Hamas leaders discussed ongoing efforts to end the political divisions between the two groups and build reconciliation and partnerships between Palestinian factions.
Al-Ahmad and Mashaal also discussed participation in a preparatory committee meeting to organize for the Palestinian National Council (PNC) session in Beirut on Jan. 10.The two agreed on continuing discussions between the political groups and all other concerned sides to achieve the PNC meeting next week.Similar meetings between Hamas and Fatah fell apart in June after the Hamas movement accused Fatah for the failure of that day’s meeting in Doha, surrounding the issues of employment and legislative council.In March, the two political parties also held reconciliation talks in Doha, with Fatah and Hamas delegations discussing implementations of a viable reconciliation agreement.
A poll conducted in November by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) concluded that the Palestinian public was deeply pessimistic about the prospect of achieving a reconciliation between the Fatah and Hamas movements, with 51.1 percent saying they were pessimistic, 29.2 percent saying they were optimistic, and 19.7 percent saying they were unsure.
The relationship between Hamas and Fatah has been in a dire state after a government of national consensus was dissolved in June 2015, one year after it was first announced.
The two Palestinian parties have had particularly tense relations since Hamas won legislative elections in 2006 and became the ruling party in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, municipal elections set to be held earlier last month were postponed following a controversial decision by the Fatah-run Supreme Court in Ramallah. They were set to be the first elections in the Gaza Strip in a decade.