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.
Attack increases May death toll of police patrolling Somali border to 20, suspected victims of al-Shabaab attacks
Two people were found dead in the town of Kansk in Russia's Siberian Krasnoyarsk region, according to investigators in the region, who said a fire spread in the area due to hot weather and strong wind.
Trump, whose own election last year shocked the pollsters, said Macron "ran an incredible campaign and had a tremendous victory. All over the world they’re talking about it."
He and Merkel had sent a joint message of condolence to the families of those killed in the Monday attack during a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande, he added.
Speaking ahead of her departure for a NATO summit in Brussels, May said she would "make clear to President (Donald) Trump that intelligence which is shared between our law enforcement agencies must remain secure".
One woman arrested by armed police on Wednesday was released a few hours later without charge, leaving 10 men still in custody Thursday, including suspected killer Salman Abedi's father and brother in Libya.
Police said they were serving warrants linked to unrelated criminal investigations when they came under gunfire at the Santa Lucia farming estate, some 860 kilometers (530 miles) from Belem, capital of Para state.
28-member alliance pledges more intelligence support in the fight against ISIL, but rules out combat role
Trump faced protests on his arrival in Brussels, but he is getting a red-carpet welcome from Western allies eager to persuade him that his earlier criticisms of them were misplaced.
Leaks by US officials to media ‘arrogant, wrong and disrespectful to Greater Manchester’, mayor says
The huge social network said that the new design will offer a "carousel" with a variety of websites.
"Trump not welcome" said banners waved by the crowd, which police said numbered around 9,000. Organisers put the size of the demonstration at 12,000.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka had demanded the sacking of Andrej Babis, the billionaire founder of the sprawling Agrofert conglomerate, accusing him of tax evasion and multiple conflicts of interest.
Attorney general Luisa Ortega said in a public speech that 55 people have been killed so far in the unrest: 52 civilians and three police.
Corruption was widespread under longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted in a 2011 uprising, and has remained endemic since.
Rudd complained to the US Department of Homeland Security and other intelligence branches about leaks to US media of details of the probe into the deadly Monday attack and the bomber's identity that had not yet been made public.