Fatah, Hamas Closer to Reconciling

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Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas are moving closer to reconciling, the London-based Arabic-language daily Asharq al-Awsat reported on Sunday, quoting an anonymous Palestinian official.

Following a meeting in Damascus on Saturday, the two factions made plans to meet again - possibly in October - to continue negotiations aimed at reconciling their few remaining differences, according to the report.

Damascus-based Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, Izzat al-Rishq and Mohammed Nasr made up the Hamas delegation.

The Fatah group was led by Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad and included Sakher Bseiso - also a member of the faction's central committee, and Revolutionary Council member and Fatah secretary Samir Rifai, according to Asharq al-Awsat.

If the one remaining point of contention - a security-related issue - can be resolved at the next meeting, Hamas would travel to Cairo to sign the agreement Fatah signed last November.

"The meeting was held in an amicable, brotherly atmosphere, with a sincere desire from both parties to end the division," read a joint Fatah-Hamas statement.

"Both a path and steps were agreed upon to move toward reconciliation. The points of contention included in the reconciliation document prepared by Egypt have been reviewed in light of comprehensive Palestinian national dialogue and bilateral dialogue between Fatah and Hamas," the statement read.

"A lot of these points were understood and agreed upon, and it has also been agreed that a meeting will be held soon to ensure an understanding regarding the rest of the points and reach a final version of these 'Palestinian understandings' agreed upon by all Palestinian factions and forces," the statement read.

How reconciliation between the two factions would affect the newly restarted Israeli-Palestinian peace talks remains to be seen though both Fatah and Hamas refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Media Watch reported that Palestinian television continues broadcasting a musical video glorifying martyrdom.

"The segment first appeared as part of the PLO's Third Palestinian Culture and Education Festival in Ramallah," PMW reported. It has re-aired six times, the latest on September 21.

Click here to view an excerpt from the song:

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