World Bulletin/News Desk
Representatives from Palestinian rival factions Fatah and Hamas would meet Sunday and Monday to discuss steps towards reconciliation and pave the way for forming a consensual cabinet and holding general elections, Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya said Sunday.
Al-Hayya's announcement came in a joint press conference with Fatah leader Nabil Shaath following a meeting between both groups' delegations earlier Sunday in the residence of Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City.
"The two delegations are in accord about the essential components of national reconciliation plan," Shaath said, stressing that the two groups have agreed on "partnership to pave the way for forming a cabinet and holding elections."
"Fatah movement will not accept that a Palestinian state be established without the Gaza Strip or with a separate state in Gaza," Shaath added.
"The movement is concerned over the tragic conditions in Gaza as a result of the years-long [Israeli] blockade."
During Sunday's meeting with the Fatah delegation, Haniyeh said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas needs to "take serious steps to provide a positive climate for reconciliation."
"Hamas cannot tolerate the direct targeting of its members in the West Bank," Haniyeh was quoted as saying by Gaza's official news agency Al-Rai. "[Fatah's] pursuit of Hamas members as well as [its] collaboration with the occupation forces poses a pressure on Hamas's decision-makers regarding reconciliation."
As part of an earlier goodwill gesture announced by the Gaza premier, he reportedly handed the visiting delegation a list of Fatah members who are permitted to return to the strip after they fled in the wake of Hamas' takeover in 2007 conflict between the two factions -
Last month, Haniyeh announced that 2014 would be "the year of Palestinian reconciliation," declaring that all Fatah members who had fled the Gaza Strip in 2007 – when Hamas seized control of the coastal enclave – were welcome to return except those charged with wrongdoing.
In 2007, Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip routed troops loyal to Fatah and Abbas and seized control of the territory.
Continued conflict between Hamas and Fatah, the latter of which holds the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, obliged Hamas to set up its own government in Gaza, while Fatah did the same in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
In 2011, the two factions hammered out a reconciliation deal under Egyptian sponsorship. The following year, the two sides agreed to form a unity government headed up by Abbas to pave the way for parliamentary polls.
The terms of the agreement, however, were never implemented.
Despite their vast differences, particularly over the thorny issue of peace talks with Israel, both governments maintain considerable coordination, especially in the education and health sectors.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the foreign minister of Oman, which has remained neutral in the dispute, Tillerson noted "positive movement" in talks since he visited the region ten days ago.
Catalonia's pro-independence regional government plans to hold a secession vote in the wealthy northeastern region on October 1, in defiance of Spain's central government in Madrid which has repeatedly said such a vote would violate the constitution.
The 6.7-magnitude tremor also left hundreds more injured in the Turkish resort of Bodrum, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) across the sea from Kos.
"In the interest of Europe and in the spirit of the old Hungarian-Polish friendship, the inquisition campaign against Poland can never lead to success," Orban said during a visit in Romania.
"We shall not accept lessons and still less threats such as those we have heard from our neighbours in recent days," said Gentiloni.
Ultraviolent Abubakar Shekau’s Boko Haram faction this week released video of policewomen captured in northeast
Two other fighters of pro-government Shia militia were injured in attack
Spicer quit after Trump named Anthony Scaramucci, a Wall Street financier and one-time critic, as the new White House communications director -- a role Spicer had hoped to play.
West African nation marks former holiday as dark reminder of dictator Yayha Jammeh, now recently fallen
Rebranding to Syrian Democratic Forces done to give PYD/PKK a voice in Syria talks, assuage Ankara, Raymond Thomas says
The legislation, which was pushed through by parliament Wednesday, was approved by 55 senators, with 23 opposed and two abstentions.
Court warns naming alternative justices 'illegal', can lead to jail time
Following deadly shootout last week, Israel placed metal detectors at entrance to mosque compound, outraging Palestinians
"Secretary Mattis has informed congressional defense committees that he was not able to certify that Pakistan has taken sufficient actions against the Haqqani network to permit full reimbursement of Fiscal Year 2016 Coalition Support Funds," Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.
The inflation rate slowed from the 1.3 percent seen in May, and 1.6 percent in April, the Statistics Canada data showed.
Replaces earlier story 'Israeli police restrict entry of Muslims to Al-Aqsa'