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Hamas, Fatah welcome renewed Egyptian efforts to end their feud
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Palestinian factions on Thursday welcomed news that Egypt has resumed its efforts to broker a national reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.

An official from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement said Wednesday Egyptian diplomats told him that Cairo will resume contacts to broker the reconciliation between Fatah and Islamic Hamas movement.

Though confirming it did not officially receive invitation for pre-dialogue talks, Hamas said it "welcomes all the efforts that aim at ending the internal Palestinian crisis."

"The dialogue is the only way to reach a Palestinian reconciliation empowering the internal Palestinian front," said Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas' spokesman.

The inter-Palestinian crisis flared up last year after Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and seized control of Gaza Strip. Later, Abbas consolidated his rule in West Bank and the two territories turned into politically-separated entities.

Barhoum reiterated that any mediator should "keep distance from the two parts (Hamas and Fatah) of the problem."

Last month, Hamas thwarted Egypt's effort to launch the dialogue, saying that Egypt was biased to Abbas' Fatah movement which sponsors a crackdown against Hamas supporters in West Bank.

Meanwhile, Ibraheem Abu al-Najja, Fatah representative in Gaza, called on the Palestinian factions to respond positively to Egypt' s efforts towards the dialogue.

"The faction (Hamas) must stop putting conditions and notes on the Egyptian proposals, and we, the Palestinians, must work on to facilitate the Egyptian efforts," Najja said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 25, 2008)

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