Meeting between Palestinian factions in Cairo postponed

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Photo: Haaretz

A meeting between leading Palestinian factions in Cairo initially scheduled for today has been postponed.

Last month’s outbreak of violence in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas ended with an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire. This week Egyptian mediators held separate talks with delegations from Hamas and Fatah. Discussions focused on reinforcing the truce with Israel and reconstruction plans for Gaza. However, Egyptian officials decided to postpone the direct meeting between both groups, claiming their differences mainly focused on Fatah’s insistence that the Palestinian Authority, an elected political body, is the sole speaker for Palestinians. Moreover, Egypt also indicated that the issues of negotiating prisoner exchanges between Israel and Hamas, as well as working directly on solidifying a long-term truce was more vital.

Given that Egypt has unsuccessfully mediated between both groups in the past and would rather pursue other issues related to the conflict, a direct meeting is unlikely to happen in the short term. Expect poor relations between Hamas and Fatah to continue in the medium-term. In the current Palestinian political atmosphere, Fatah is seen to be on the losing end, which could mean Hamas has little to no reason to work out its differences.

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