Hamas, Fatah to Reunite

Israel says it will end peace process
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2014 9:45 AM CDT
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)
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(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. (Read more Mahmoud Abbas stories.)

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