Qatar likely to mediate in Palestine row




"Qatar is bidding to achieve reconciliation between the two groups" with differences, a news agency reported yesterday.

"Qatar, as a state of strategic weight in the region, seeks to sponsor the mediation between Hamas and Fatah to end the internal split and reunite the two wings of Palestine," its sources said.

Palestinian Ambassador to Qatar, Muneer Gannam, denied having any official information about the matter. "We have not received any official information about Qatar’s initiative. However, Qatar and its people have always supported Palestine when needed. The firm stand of the Qatari leadership can help to sort out the issue," he told The Peninsula.

The issue arose last year when Hamas ousted Fatah from Gaza and seized control of the coastal Strip. Fatah was driven out to the West Bank where it consolidated its rule while Hamas tightened its grip on Gaza.

Qatari officials are holding talks with leaders from Hamas and Fatah to convince them to return to dialogue. The Qatari efforts focus on overcoming the consequences of Hamas’ violent takeover of the Strip before Hamas starts dialogue with Fatah.

The new efforts come as Egypt, the long-dominant mediator, is also boosting its own efforts to achieve reconciliation between the Palestinian factions.



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