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Rival Palestinian Hamas and Fatah group ‘hold talks’ in Beijing

By AFP

April 30, 2024 03:18 PM


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China said Tuesday that rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah met in Beijing recently for "in-depth and candid talks on promoting intra-Palestinian reconciliation".

"Representatives of the Palestine National Liberation Movement and the Islamic Resistance Movement recently came to Beijing," foreign ministry spokesman Lin Jian said, referring to the groups by their formal names.

"The two sides fully expressed their political will to achieve reconciliation through dialogue and consultation, discussed many specific issues and made positive progress," he added, without specifying when the sides had met.

Islamist movement Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after ferocious fighting with its rivals in Fatah, which maintains partial administrative control in the Israeli-occupied West Bank through the Palestinian Authority.

China has historically been sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and supportive of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Beijing has been calling for an immediate ceasefire since the start of the current Israel-Hamas war in October last year, when attacks by the militant group resulted in the deaths of about 1,170 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 34,535 people in the Gaza Strip, mostly women and children, the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said on Tuesday.

Beijing said on Tuesday the two factions had "agreed to continue this process of dialogue with a view to achieving Palestinian unity at an early date".

"The two sides highly appreciated China's firm support for the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights," Lin said.

He did not identify the representatives from Hamas and Fatah who met in Beijing.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for an "international peace conference" to resolve the fighting.

In November, Beijing hosted a delegation of diplomats from Arab and Muslim-majority nations, in which Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned a "humanitarian disaster" was unfolding in Gaza.


AFP


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