Palestinian factions mediate to heal Hamas-Fatah rift

ANADOLU AGENCY
GAZA CITY
Published 06.01.2019 20:38
Updated 07.01.2019 08:01

Palestinian factions are mediating between rival groups Hamas and Fatah to ease tensions in the Gaza Strip, according to factional leaders.

"The factions want to spare the Palestinian scene a new page of tension," Musab al-Barim, spokesman for the Islamic Jihad group, told Anadolu Agency (AA) yesterday. He said contacts and meetings were being held with Fatah and Hamas officials to ease their tension.

Talal Abu Zarifa, a prominent member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), confirmed the mediation effort between the two rival movements.

"We seek to consolidate the internal Palestinian situation and prevent it from deteriorating," he said.

There was no comment from either Fatah or Hamas on the effort. The two rival groups have been at odds since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from Fatah.

The situation escalated between the two movements last week, which observers described as the "most serious" since the signing of the last reconciliation agreement in October 2017 in Egypt. The reconciliation process foresees that Hamas will hand over control to Fatah in Gaza and there will be elections in six months. Despite many positive steps taken, the two parties are stuck on certain issues. Fatah accuses Hamas of arresting hundreds of group members in Gaza ahead of the 54th anniversary of Fatah's founding. On Friday, masked assailants raided the headquarters of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Gaza City, an attack denounced by Hamas.

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