Palestinians awaiting results of Fatah and Hamas meeting in Makkah

Two Palestinian delegations representing the two rival parties, Fatah and Hamas headed to Makkah in Saudi Arabia for dialogue in a bid to end the ongoing infighting in the Gaza Strip.Two Palestinian delegations representing the two rival parties, Fatah and Hamas headed to Makkah in Saudi Arabia for dialogue in a bid to end the ongoing infighting in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians are hoping that this meeting will end the bloodshed and form a national unity government, they are anticipating that it will contribute to ending the economic blockade imposed on the Palestinian people since March of 2006.

The United States and European Union stopped sending aid funds to the Palestinian Authority following the overwhelming victory of Hamas in the Palestinian Parliamentary elections in January last year.

On the other hand, Israel seized nearly 550 million dollars in tax revenue which was due to the Palestinian Authority after Hamas formed the Palestinian government in March. Only 100 million dollars were released last month.

The Hamas delegation consists of the movement’s politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and politburo member Mousa Abu Marzouq, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniya and Foreign Minister Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahar.

Fatah’s delegation includes The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, his media advisor Nabil Amro, head of Fatah’s parliamentary bloc Azzam Al-Ahmad, MP Mohammad Dahlan, Chief Palestinian negotiator, MP De. Saeb Ereikat, Samir Mashharawi, Abu Maher Hils and Rawhi Fattouh.

On his part, PM Ismael Haniyeh said that the Hamas delegation is going to Makkah with the intention of reaching an agreement to form a unity government.

Meanwhile,in a press release signed by many independent and other MPs, deputy chair of the Palestinian Parliament Hassan Khreisheh demanded the two parties invest all effort possible in reaching an agreement to stop the infighting.

Hamas and Fatah have been negotiating the unity government for over 5 months based on the national agreement document put together by the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, but have failed to implement their agreements. On the other hand, nine cease-fire agreements were declared in the past couple of months, however, none of them managed to last more than few days, which lowers the hopes of Palestinians that this meeting will yield an applicable deal.

Others argue that they are optimistic because the meeting is held in Makkah, one of the holiest cities for Muslims.

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George Rishmawi

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