Palestinian unity talks end without agreement

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the Fatah faction. Credit: U.S. Department of State.

( Unity talks between the Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah ended on Monday in Qatar without an agreement.

The only item both sides agreed on was to refrain from talking to the media about the negotiations, the Jerusalem Post reported. Ziad al-Thatha, a senior Hamas official who was involved in the unity negotiations, said that both sides would have more talks in the future to discuss “thorny” issues.  

“We hope that [Palestinian Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas will comply with the demands of the Palestinians, and agree to partnership [with Hamas] in order to end the division,” al-Thatha said. 

Members of the Fatah delegation to Qatar, which was headed by Azzam al-Ahmed and Skher Bsaisso, were scheduled to head back to Ramallah for consultations. Hamas, the terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, and Abbas-led Fatah, the ruling party in the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA), have been locked in a bitter dispute since Hamas violently ousted PA security forces from Gaza in 2007. 

Numerous rounds of negotiations have taken place between Hamas and Fatah, producing limited agreements, including the formation of a technocratic Palestinian unity government in 2014. That unity government quickly unraveled, and more recent intra-Palestinian negotiations have focused on forming a new unity government as well as holding presidential and parliamentary elections. 

Posted on March 29, 2016 .