republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
Although Fatah is reputed to be “moderate” and Hamas “extremist,” in reality, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between them.
“Fatah and Hamas agree to form unity Palestinian government to end election gridlock,” by Bethan McKernan, Independent, January 19, 2017:
The governing bodies of the West Bank and Gaza Strip have agreed to bury their differences to form a unity government in order to finally hold delayed elections.
The secular Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, based in Ramallah, and Islamist militant group Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, will form a new National Council including the Palestinian diaspora to hold elections.
“We have reached agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government,” Fatah spokesperson Azzam al-Ahmad told media after three days of reconciliation talks in the Russian capital of Moscow concluded on Tuesday.
“Today the conditions for [the idea] are better than ever,” Mr Ahmad added.
Relations between Fatah and Hamas have been tense since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip a decade ago.
The first elections since 2007 were due to be held in 2016 but were delayed multiple times after legal complaints filed by various political actors and a high court ruling found elections could only be held in the West Bank.
The non-official Russian brokered talks also involved representatives from the Shia Islamic Jihad militant group, which has not been present at political talks in years.
While in Moscow, Palestinian representatives also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, asking him to pressure US President-elect Donald Trump into reneging on a campaign promise to move the US Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem….