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Palestinian unity urged to resolve Gaza crisis

By JAN YUMUL in Hong Kong | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-02-20 09:24

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh arrives to attend an international humanitarian conference for the people of Gaza at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Nov 9, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

The latest call for Palestinian unity by Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh is expected to generate renewed efforts to realize the two-state solution and end the conflict in Gaza, experts say.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, Shtayyeh urged all Palestinian factions to engage in dialogue, as he stressed Palestinian unity "under any circumstances".

Tass reported that Russia has invited up to 14 organizations, including representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to an intra-Palestinian meeting in Moscow next week.

Shtayyeh was among many senior government officials and heads of state who attended the three-day security conference in the German city of Munich.

He told the forum that the Palestinian Authority was focused on the suffering of the Palestinians. He also called for an immediate cease-fire and for more international aid to be allowed into Gaza.

Hamas and Fatah are the two most dominant parties in Palestine's political landscape. The factions sparked renewed hope in the contentious path to achieving full Palestinian statehood when they met at an Egypt-hosted meeting in New Alamein City in July.

"We will see if Hamas is ready to come to ground with us. We are ready to engage. If Hamas is not going to ground with us, that's a different story. But we need Palestinian unity under any circumstances," Shtayyeh said.

Arhama Siddiqa, a Middle East analyst and research fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad in Pakistan, told China Daily "time has come for collective action, transcending individual interests, and steering toward the holistic development of the Palestinian people" with the reverberations of economic devastation echoing exponentially.

Jawaid Iqbal, chairman of the Department of West Asian and North African Studies at Aligarh Muslim University in India, said the possible integration of Hamas into the Palestine Liberation Organization framework is dependent upon the character of the national unity program that the Fatah-led PA is willing to undertake.

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