Fatah, Hamas to hold talks in Mecca
The Palestinian rival movements have agreed to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah's proposal to hold talks in Mecca to end fighting.india Updated: Jan 29, 2007 12:39 IST
The Palestinian rival movements Fatah and Hamas have agreed to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah's proposal to hold talks in Mecca to end fighting between the two main factions.
A statement released by the Hamas government on Sunday said that it welcomed King Abdullah's "invitation to host the national dialogue in Mecca".
Since Thursday night, 26 Palestinians have been killed in internal violence.
"We are ready to cooperate with every effort that contributes to strengthening the interior front," the Hamas statement said.
Ahmed Abdul Rahman, a Fatah spokesperson, said in Ramallah that his organisation "warmly welcomes this noble initiative".
Although violence decreased Sunday, two people, one from Fatah and one from Hamas were killed during gunfights in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
Many mutual abductions have also taken place.
An Egyptian delegation based in Gaza has also been trying to bring the two factions back to negotiations after talks were stalled following the latest outbreak of violence starting Thursday night.
An Egyptian-led five-point initiative calls on both sides to end hostilities and release all kidnapped people.
Kayed al-Ghoul, a senior leader in the Popular Front, said that "Fatah accepted the (Egyptian) initiative, and we are waiting to hear Hamas' reaction to the plan".
A spokesperson for Islamic Jihad said that Hamas is likely to accept the initiative.
Talks resumed between the two parties to end violence and form a national unity government after a meeting last week in Damascus between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, and Khaled Mashaal, a senior Hamas leader, but the dialogue broke down following the renewed violence.