Yemen Fails to Reunite Fatah and Hamas

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - The latest in a series of attempts to reunite rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, came to naught Thursday when Fatah reps walked out of the meeting.

The salient points of the Yemeni initiative call for Hamas to return unconditional control of the Gaza Strip, wrested from Palestinian Authority (PA) forces in a bloody military coup in June, to the Fatah-controlled PA government.

It also calls for early elections and the reestablishment of a Fatah-Hamas coalition and for the formation of a unity government.

Before traveling to Yemen earlier this week, at the invitation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Fatah delegation, led by senior official Azzam al-Ahmed, accepted the Yemeni initiative.

But the Hamas delegation, led by Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy chair of the group's political bureau, was less positive.

Though the Fatah delegation walked out of the meeting, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said Hamas' refusal to sign the draft agreement drawn up by Saleh was responsible for the failed reconciliation attempt.

"Hamas is responsible for the failure of the Yemeni initiative," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior advisor to Abbas.

"Our delegation will be heading home tomorrow. We will return to Yemen once Hamas accepts the initiative," he said.

Hamas blames Fatah for walking out of the meeting.

According to Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, the two factions would have reached a consensus over the weekend.

"Today we were surprised to hear that Fatah was withdrawing from the talks under the pretext that Hamas had rejected the initiative," Zuhri said.

"This is completely untrue as Hamas was the first party to welcome the plan. If anyone is responsible for the failure of the dialogue, it's Mahmoud Abbas, who doesn't want reconciliation with Hamas," he said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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