Fatah and Hamas Sign Deal, But Feuding Continues

Rival Palestinian factions bicker over control of Gaza
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2008 8:02 PM CDT
Fatah and Hamas signed a Yemeni-sponsored deal today, but differences remain.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In a second attempt to mend fences, rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas agreed to resume direct talks today to resolve disputes and revive their failed coalition. A Hamas official called the deal “a new beginning and the start of a new stage,” but just hours after signing the Yemeni-sponsored Sanaa Declaration, the factions returned to feuding, Reuters reports.

The latest sticking point is an old one: control of Gaza. The declaration calls for the Palestinian situation to be returned “to what it was before the Gaza incidents,” when Hamas seized the territory last June. But Hamas rejected Fatah’s demands to surrender control of the territory. The deal also stipulates new elections and the reformation of security forces.