Islamic Jihad calls reconciliation meeting
Published Thursday 05/07/2012 (updated) 06/07/2012 14:27
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian factions will meet Thursday for reconciliation talks in Gaza City, an Islamic Jihad leader told Ma'an.
Khalid al-Batsch told Ma'an that Islamic Jihad invited parties to meet at its offices since the scheduled talks in Cairo were delayed and because of Hamas' decision to suspend voter registration in Gaza.
The Central Elections Commission had been due to start updating the electoral roll in Gaza on Tuesday, but Hamas suspended the commission's work on Monday citing concerns over its partiality and the ongoing arrest of Hamas members in the West Bank.
The move drew sharp condemnation from the PLO and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Fatah accused Hamas of avoiding elections and retreating from the reconciliation agreement.
Electoral registration was slated as the first step to implementing the long-stalled unity deal between the factions signed in May 2011, when parties pledged to form a unity government within a year.
The Palestinian Democratic Union Fida urged people to take to the streets in protest at Hamas' refusal to let the Central Elections Commission operate in Gaza.
Fida deputy secretary general, Khaled al-Khatib, told Ma'an that no party had the right to determine the fate of the Palestinian people.