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Fatah, Hamas Pledge Unity against Israeli Annexations

Fatah, Hamas Pledge Unity against Israeli Annexations

Thursday, 2 July, 2020 - 11:15
FILE PHOTO: A boy holds a Palestinian flag during a protest against Israel's plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, in Beta village near Nablus June 12, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
Asharq Al-Awsat

Fatah and Hamas movements pledged a united campaign against Israel's prospective plans to annex territory in the occupied West Bank, in a rare joint press conference on Thursday.

"We will put in place all necessary measures to ensure national unity" in efforts against annexation, senior Fatah official Jibril Rajub said in Ramallah at the news conference, also addressed by Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri by video-link from Beirut.

"Today, we want to speak in a single voice," Rajub said.

Fatah, which controls the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, and Hamas that runs the Gaza Strip have been plagued by divisions for more than a decade.

The joint press conference was spurred by their common opposition to US President Donald Trump's Middle East plan dubbed the Deal of the Century.

The plan paves the way for Israel to annex roughly 30 percent of the occupied West Bank, including Jewish settlements in the territory considered illegal under international law.

For former PA official and Palestinian analyst Ghassan Khatib, Thursday's show of unity was unlikely to spark wider co-operation between the two Palestinian groups.

"I doubt the annexation challenge will help these two factions to end their split and unify again. I don't think this is going to happen," Khatib told AFP.

"They'll appear together and they'll agree about the significance and the importance of the annexation and the need to try to coordinate their efforts but I don't think they'll go beyond that," he added.

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