Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas hold talks in Cairo

BBC News
Fecha de publicación: 
09 Ene 2013

The leaders of the Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas have held talks in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to try to heal their rift.

Palestinian Authority and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas met the political chief of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal.

Earlier, both had separately met Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

The groups have been at odds since Hamas ousted forces loyal to Mr Abbas in the Gaza Strip during clashes in 2007 and set up a rival government.

However, tensions have eased recently. Hamas and Fatah supporters have both been allowed to hold mass rallies in Gaza and the West Bank.

Israel approach

Hamas was formed in 1987 as an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, to which Mr Morsi belongs.

Fatah and Hamas did sign a reconciliation accord two years ago that was meant to pave the way for the formation of a new transitional unity government formed of independents, which was to prepare for legislative elections scheduled to be held before the end of May 2012.

However, the process has stalled.

A senior Palestinian official cautioned that no immediate breakthrough was expected from the latest talks.

Hamas and Fatah fundamentally disagree in their approach towards Israel.

Hamas has refused to renounce violence, recognise Israel's right to exist or accept peace accords between the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Hamas has been designated a terrorist group by Israel, the US and the EU.

There have been signs of warming ties between Hamas and Fatah ahead of Wednesday's talks.

Last Saturday, Hamas allowed Fatah to hold rallies in Gaza for the first time since 2007.

Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Mr Abbas held mass gatherings in the coastal enclave to mark Fatah's 48th anniversary.

Meanwhile last month, supporters of Hamas celebrated their movement's founding with a rare rally in the West Bank, which is governed by the Palestinian Authority of Mr Abbas.

However, tensions remain and on Tuesday a Hamas-run court in the Gaza Strip sentenced a leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, which is associated with Fatah, to 15 years in jail.

Fatah said the verdict was unjust and political.