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Fatah calls for protests against US VP Jerusalem visit

RAMALLAH: The Fatah faction of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Saturday called for demonstrations next week when US Vice President Mike Pence visits Jerusalem, after Washington's policy shift on the holy city. Breaking with decades with US policy, President Donald Trump announced on December 6 his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and that he would move the US embassy to the city. The move has stirred global condemnation and sparked angry protests across Arab and Muslim countries, as well as…

Palestinian reconciliation hits obstacles on deadline: Fatah

GAZA: A planned handover of power in Gaza from Hamas to the Palestinian Authority under a landmark reconciliation accord hit "obstacles" on Sunday's deadline to do so, a top official said. Palestinian movement Hamas was originally due to transfer power in the enclave on December 1 under the reconciliation agreement with rival faction Fatah, but that deadline was initially put back by 10 days. Hamas said at the weekend that it was handing over all government ministries to the Palestinian Authority, but Fatah's top…

Key points of Palestinian unity agreement

GAZA CITY: The two major Palestinian factions reached a unity agreement on Thursday after Egyptian mediation. Hamas and the Fatah party have ruled over separate territories since a near civil war in 2007. Here are key points of the agreement and what remains unaddressed: - The Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, which is based in the West Bank, will resume full control of Gaza by December 1 at the latest. The PA was kicked out of Gaza in 2007 but last month Hamas agreed to hand over civilian power. - All…

Hamas, Fatah reach deal on Palestinian reconciliation

GAZA CITY: Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement on Thursday on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo, with president Mahmud Abbas calling it a "final" accord. Under the agreement, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority is to resume full control of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by December 1, according to a statement from Egypt's government. Abbas welcomed the deal and said he considered it a "final agreement to end the division" -- though many details…

Fatah leads local polls in West Bank cities

RAMALLAH: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party was ahead in most of the West Bank's main cities after municipal elections that highlighted persistent divisions with its rival Hamas, results showed Sunday. Voting took place on Saturday only in the occupied West Bank, controlled by Fatah, and not in the Gaza Strip, which is run by the Islamist movement Hamas. Attempts to hold the first joint elections in the West Bank and Gaza since 2006 failed after the two movements were not able to reach an agreement.…

Palestinian female lawmaker arrested by Israel

HEBRON: A female member of the Palestinian parliament has been arrested by Israeli forces, Palestinian and Israeli security sources said on Thursday. Samira Halayqa, a Hamas member of the largely defunct Palestinian Legislative Council, was arrested by Israeli forces on Wednesday night from her home near Hebron in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian security sources said. The Shin Bet Israeli intelligence service confirmed the arrest, but declined to provide further details. Nine other members of the 132 member…