IslamNews – Leaders of rival Palestinian factions began Egyptian-brokered reconciliation talks in Cairo on Monday to try to heal long-standing internal divisions, ahead of planned Palestinian elections later this year.
Egypt has tried in vain for 14 years to reconcile Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s nationalist Fatah faction and its bitter rival Hamas, the armed Islamist movement that opposes any negotiations with Israel.
No Palestinian elections have been held in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem for 15 years.
As well as Hamas and Fatah there are thought to be around a dozen other factions represented in the Cairo talks. Among those invited was Islamic Jihad, a militant group which boycotted the 1996 and 2006 elections and which, Palestinian sources said, is now considering whether to take part this year.