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May 5, 2014 4:14 pm

PA’s Abbas and Hamas’s Meshaal Meet in Doha to Discuss Unity Deal

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Fatah and Hamas appear to have more that unites them than divides them. Photo: Suhaib Salem-Pool.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal met on Monday for the first time since their factions signed a unity deal last month, Al Jazeera reported.

“The meeting has started,” a source in Abbas’s Ramallah office told the AFP news agency earlier today about the meeting, which took place in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said over the weekend that the two leaders were expected to “discuss the reconciliation agreement and how to implement it.”

Abbas arrived in Doha on Sunday for the visit with Meshaal, who has been living in Qatar’s capital for more than two years since leaving his previous base in Damascus. The last time the two leaders met face-to-face was in Cairo in January 2013, according to Al Jazeera.

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Abbas’s Fatah movement, which controls the Palestine Liberation Organisation and rules the West Bank, has been for years locked in a bitter rivalry with Meshaal’s terror group Hamas. The two groups have since put their differences aside and on April 23, the PLO and Hamas announced their agreement to form a new national consensus government.

News of the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation was ill received in Israel and the Jewish state said it would not negotiate with any Palestinian government which included Hamas.

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