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Rival Hamas, Fatah leaders pledge Palestinian unity bid
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12:15, October 01, 2008

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Officials of the rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas movements celebrated the end of the holy month of Ramadan on Tuesday with pledges to seek unity at internal talks in Cairo in the coming weeks.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah movement marked the feast of Eid al-Fitr by laying flowers at a monument to fallen soldiers in Ramallah, his de facto capital in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

"President Abbas and the Palestinian leadership are exerting great efforts for the success of the dialogue that Egypt is holding," Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said.

Meanwhile, deposed Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haneya confirmed Tuesday in Gaza that its Hamas movement would go to "Cairo dialogue" with hands stretched out and minds and hearts open to end the inter-Palestinian split.

Haneya made the remarks on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr festivities in Gaza, Haneya hoped that the Cairo-hosted dialogue would culminate in reaching a national reconciliation.

However, there was no evident sign of a change of position on either part signaling that their feud, which climaxed with militants of Hamas forcing Fatah forces out of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, would soon be resolved.

A deal in Cairo would pave the way to comprehensive national dialogue that would be followed by a meeting of Arab foreign ministers, according to Fatah official sources.

Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman conducted separate talks with the two sides throughout September. He met Fatah last week and is scheduled to talk with Hamas officials on Oct. 8. All Palestinian factions would convene in Cairo on Nov. 4, said the sources.

Source: Xinhua

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