Ma’an/Fatah, Hamas to meet in Cairo next week, official says

SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-Fatah and Hamas will hold talks in Cairo next week in attempt to iron out issues that have prevented the full implementation of a unity deal agreed upon in April, a senior Fatah official said Saturday.

Azzam al-Ahmad said in a statement that talks to finalize national reconciliation would take place sometime in the middle of the week. 
He added that talks with Israel to follow up on the August ceasefire agreement would be held shortly after the Fatah-Hamas talks.
In April, Hamas and the Fatah-led PLO signed a unity agreement to bring the West Bank and Gaza under the jurisdiction of one government.
Since the new government was officially sworn in in June, Hamas has demanded it take responsibility for paying its 45,000 employees, 27,000 of whom are civil servants.
But the unity government has been noncommittal, and earlier this month Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said he was under pressure from the international community not to pay Hamas employees’ salaries.
Throughout Israel’s assault on Gaza, Hamas and Fatah put up a united front, working side-by-side to further indirect truce talks with Israel in Cairo, which resulted in an open-ended ceasefire that took effect on Aug. 26.
But in the aftermath of the war, tensions between Hamas and Fatah have increased, with Abbas accusing the Islamist movement of running a “shadow government” in Gaza and Hamas leaders arguing that the unity government is not doing enough in the Strip.

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