Fatah Delegation Makes Rare Gaza Visit (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/10/12)
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A Fatah delegation from Ramallah made a high-profile visit to Gaza on
Wednesday to hold talks with local faction-members and other groups
in the Hamas-run enclave.
Ahead of the visit, Fatah Central Committee member Muhammad al-Madani
told the Bethlehem-based Maan News Agency that he, and senior Fatah
members Nabil Shaath and Amin Maqboul would form the delegation.
He declined to discuss the goal of the visit, but said the agenda may
include meetings with Hamas officials.
Another Fatah official, Atif Abu Seif, told Ma´an the Fatah
delegation were tasked with arranging some internal party issues in
Abu Seif said the delegation would also hold taks with other factions
in Gaza in hopes of pushing forward Palestinian Authority elections.
Fatah has in recent months begun laying the groundwork to wrest Gaza
from Hamas should elections be held, and appointed new leaders in the
enclave tasked with doing so.
A central figure in Fatah´s plans to restructure in Gaza is Yazid
Hawihi, the favorite to replace Abdullah Abu Samhadana as the Fatah
chairman in Gaza.
Hawihi, 50, is from Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. Six months ago he
was released from an Israeli jail where he had served five years
after being convicted of terrorism related charges.
The spokesman of the Hamas-run government in Gaza Tahir al-Nunu said
Tuesday that premier Ismail Haniyeh welcomed the Fatah officials to
Gaza in a phone call with Shaath.
Hamas and Fatah have been feuding since Hamas seized Gaza from Fatah
in a bloody 2007 putsch.
The two factions signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo in May
2011, but the promised unity government has yet to materialize.
Earlier this year, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and PA
chairman Mahmoud Abbas reached a formula for implementing the deal in
However, their efforts resulted in another public failure, and
underscored growing tension between the Hamas politburo in exile and
its Gaza leaders.
Mashaal tentatively accepted the notion of a state on the 1967
borders, and offered PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas a one-year mandate for
negotiations with Israel – though his fellow politburo members
maintain any agreement with Israel will only serve as a “prelude to
However, Hamas’ Gaza chief Ismail Haniyeh maintains that all talks
with Israel are “futile” and believes the tide of the Arab Spring
will lead to victory in the movement’s armed quest to destroy the
Amid the disagreement, Haniyeh and his cohorts imposed new demands
Mashaal had not agreed to, effectively scuttling the deal again.
Observers say the two factions´ inability to reconcile renders
Fatah´s push for elections effectively moot. (IsraelNationalNews ©
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