Hamas, Fatah to Reunite

Israel says it will end peace process

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 23, 2014 9:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – Palestine's long-feuding Hamas and Fatah factions have agreed to reunite, they announced today, following a meeting in Gaza yesterday. The groups plan to form a unity government in the next five weeks, and then hold national elections in six months, the Jerusalem Post reports. This isn't the first time the sides have struck deals, only to later have them fall apart, the BBC notes, but Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmad sounded determined as he left for negotiations yesterday, saying, "We are going to the Gaza Strip not to make new proposals but to end the division."

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman denounced the reported deal, saying it would kill peace talks, the Times of Israel reports. "It's impossible to make peace with both Israel and Hamas," Lieberman said. The nine-month peace talk window John Kerry brokered ends next week, and negotiations haven't been going well. Mahmoud Abbas yesterday threatened to dissolve the Palestinian Authority entirely if talks failed, foisting responsibility for Palestine on Israel, the AP reports. Abbas said Israel's West Bank policies had left his government powerless anyway.

Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, right, and senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad meet in Gaza for reconciliation talks between the rival Palestinian groups, April 22, 2014.
Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, right, and senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad meet in Gaza for reconciliation talks between the rival Palestinian groups, April 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinians wave their national flags during a rally to demand the end of Palestinian political divisions, at the main square of Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, April 22, 2014.
Palestinians wave their national flags during a rally to demand the end of Palestinian political divisions, at the main square of Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, April 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
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