´Abbas, Mashaal are planning to meet in Cairo´ (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 07/30/12)
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Preparations are being made for a meeting between Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in
Cairo in the coming days, the Bethlehem-based Ma´an news agency
reported on Sunday. The two were expected to discuss ongoing Fatah-
Hamas reconciliation efforts.
Both Abbas and Mashaal met with new Egyptian President Muhammed Mursi
in Egypt earlier this month. Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation
agreement last year, but it was never implimented.
Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority announced it planned to
hold local elections in October in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
angering Gaza´s Islamist Hamas rulers.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri responded at the time: "Hamas regards
this unilateral step as undermining reconciliation and a decision of
escalation that would further complicate the file of reconciliation
and therefore, Hamas holds the Fatah movement responsible for the
consequences that may result."
Hamas and Fatah, which is dominant in the West Bank, have been since
2007 when Hamas managed to drive Fatah out of Gaza, splitting the
Palestinians geographically and politically.
Hamas suspended voter registration in the Gaza Strip last week in a
major setback to the reconciliation effort.
Mursi´s meetings with Mashaal and Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh
also dealt with discussions on improving conditions in the Gaza
Strip, easing travel restrictions on Palestinians in Gaza and Egypt,
and the resolving coastal strip´s energy crisis. Khaled Abu Toameh
and Reuters contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem
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