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JewishJournal.com

March 29, 2011

Palestinians to renew unity talks

http://www.jewishjournal.com/world/article/palestinians_to_renew_unity_talks_20110329

Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah will renew unity talks.

The talks will be held in Cairo next month, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah, said he was planning to visit Gaza to talk with Hamas leaders. But the trip, which Hamas had asked Abbas to postpone, will not take place until after next month’s talks, according to the report. The talks will also focus on elections for a new Palestinian government in the West Bank and Gaza.

The announcement of the Cairo talks comes after Abbas aide Azzam Ahmed told the Associated Press that Fatah would give up U.S. aid in order to reconcile with Hamas.

“Of course we need the American money. But if they use it as a way of pressuring us, we are ready to relinquish that aid,” said Ahmed.

The U.S., which gives the Palestinians more than $470 million a year in direct financial assistance, withheld that aid when Hamas was part of a Palestinian government.

Hamas left the government in 2007 and seized power in Gaza.

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