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Rajoub to Hamas: Call Us When You Set Your Mind on Elections - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English
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Rajoub to Hamas: Call Us When You Set Your Mind on Elections

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speak to the media after their meeting in Cairo. REUTER/Asmaa Waguih

Ramallah: Palestinian officials asserted that Qatar is spending efforts to resume reconciliatory talks between Fatah and Hamas in Doha, after they were halted last week due to disputes concerning means to implement the reconciliation.

Head of Fatah Movement Information Department Munir al-Jaghoub told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper: “We expect talks to resume on Monday or Tuesday. Fatah is determined to end the dispute and we call on Hamas to take the same stance. We should hold general elections to end the current division and whoever wins will rule in the West Bank and Gaza.”

Al-Jaghoub said that Fatah presented its proposal to Hamas when talks had reached a dead-end. However, Hamas officials refused it.

“We will continue our efforts in this regard,” he said.

The latest talks between Fatah and Hamas collapsed after rival parties reached a dead-end concerning the file of former employees and the Palestinian Legislative Council, in addition to the program of the anticipated national unity government.

Hamas blamed Fatah for the failure of the Doha-hosted talks after it said the rival group shifted its position on agreements reached in prior meetings.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Fatah has reneged on its promises to revive the Palestinian Legislative Council and resolve the problem of Gaza employees.

Sources said that Fatah insists on establishing a unity government that adopts the program of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is rejected by Hamas,” he said.

Abu Zuhri added that the Fatah delegation did not complete the day’s scheduled meetings and withdrew during the second session.

Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi replied by saying that the delegation headed to Doha with a decision to end the division based on partnership, democracy and forming a national unity government.

Al-Qawasmi added that the Doha meetings showed that Hamas is “not ready yet for national unity and political partnership.”

He stressed that Fatah will continue its efforts to end division between both factions, and will continue “urging Hamas to head towards real national unity.”

The current round of talks between Fatah and Hamas in Doha, the third of its kind, aim at continuing discussions on reaching a national unity government.

Sources close to the matter told Asharq Al-Awsat that old disputes between both factions remained unsolved, as participants in the Doha talks failed to agree on the political program of the next national unity government, the issue of former employees from the Hamas Movement and the Palestinian Legislative Council.

The sources said that Hamas delegation insisted that all its former government employees be quickly reemployed. However, the Fatah delegation replied that a legal committee is ready to reemploy some and to compensate for the others. Hamas refused again. At the end of talks, the Fatah delegation concluded that reaching an agreement remained complicated.

Deputy Secretary-general of the Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajoub told Hamas officials: “Let us hold elections… We want to set a date, so when you have an answer, you know our phone numbers.”

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