Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Senegal launches mediation efforts between Hamas, Fatah

From Ynet News, 7/6/08, with contributions from AP and Reuters News agencies:

Representatives of warring Palestinian factions meet with Senegalese president less than week after Hamas said it welcomed Fatah's 'renewed spirit' of dialogue. Meanwhile Hamas claims responsibility for number of terror attacks between 2002-2005

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade has begun talks with representatives of Hamas and Fatah, hoping to establish common ground in the Palestinian factions' approach to Israel, Senegalese state media reported on Saturday.

... The leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Thursday he welcomed what he called a "new spirit" of dialogue in a keynote speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah.

However, aides to Abbas rejected suggestions the Palestinian president had taken a warmer tone to his Hamas Islamist opponents, and insisted his call for "a national and comprehensive dialogue" with Hamas concerned only implementation of a recent Yemeni diplomatic initiative.
That initiative called for Hamas to give up its hold on Gaza.

Hamas says responsible for murder of 26 Israelis
Hamas has claimed belated responsibility for a string of attacks in Israel carried out several years ago. A Hamas web site lists nine attacks that killed 26 Israelis from 2002 until 2005. Other Palestinian groups claimed responsibility for some of those attacks at the time.

Hamas says it kept quiet about its role until now for security reasons. The web site says all the attackers came from the West Bank. It's not immediately clear whether Hamas really did commit all of those attacks. But the announcement suggests they want to emphasize its role in the West Bank.

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