Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has held a rare meeting with two senior leaders of the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas in the Qatari capital, Doha.
Abbas met Hamas’ political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal and the movement’s leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh in Doha on Thursday.
The meeting was reportedly also attended by Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Saeb Erekat, who is the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and Palestinian Ambassador to Qatar Munir Ghanam.
The two sides discussed how to ease the woes of the Palestinians and how to bridge the rift between Hamas and President Abbas’ Fatah Party.
Hamas said in a press release that its leaders stressed the need to implement the previous reconciliation agreements signed between the two sides over the past few years.
Hamas’ leaders also called for holding elections and forming a unity government. They also suggested that a united Palestinian front be formed in a bid to confront the Israeli occupation agenda and its continued aggression.
According to the Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency, the trio emphasized reconciliation and the importance of dialog between Fatah and Hamas to achieve unity, establish a consensus government, and organize elections.
The sides agreed to protect the “Palestinian national project” from Israeli attempts to destroy the so-called two-state solution, it added.
In April 2014, Hamas and Fatah agreed to set aside their differences and formed a unity government. The joint national consensus government was, however, dissolved in June 2015 amid persisting differences between the two factions.
The two key rival factions have had tense relations since Hamas scored a major victory in Palestinian legislative elections in 2006 and emerged the ruling party in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip.