On Wednesday, the talks between the two main Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, ended in Damascus without an agreement regarding to the security issues. The two factions agreed to continue the talks after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha next week, according to an AFP report from Damascus, where the talks are taking place.Hamas official Mussa Abu Marzuq told AFP that the two factions will resume the dialogue after the al-Adha holidays, which start in the middle of next week, saying, ‘after the feast, we will fix a date.’
In Gaza City, Hamas leader Ayman Taha confirmed the reports, declaring that the meeting was positive, and the two sides were expecting to resume the talks.
However, both sides underlined that the differences in the delicate security issue remain unresolved.
The security subject was determined by the detention of Hamas MP Mahmud al-Ramahi on Wednesday at dawn by the Israeli army. The senior Hamas official in the West Bank, Omar Abdul Razek, said that the arrest was a clear sign that Israel wanted to sabotage the talks.
The round of talks began on Tuesday between the Fatah delegation’s senior intelligence official Majid Farah and the deputy Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk. The aim of the meeting was to reach a unification of the Palestinian security apparatus, which is now divided in two factions: the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, and the West Bank, where Fatah operates.
The first attempt to narrow divisions was held in September, when the two factions met in Egypt. The talks were supposed to continue in October, but were cancelled after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Syrian President Bashar Assad exchanged differences over resistance against Israel.
Hamas and Fatah have had severely strained relations since Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections in early 2006. While Fatah has been negotiating with Israeli authorities to take over the role of the Israeli military occupying the West Bank, Hamas sees this approach as collaborating with the illegal Israeli occupation.