'New blood' to take part in Palestine's development, says Abbas

Palestinian President stresses need to hold reconciliation meetings

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made his remarks at the 11th Fatah Revolutionary Council session in Ramallah. AFP
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that plans were under way to allow for the participation of “new blood” in the country's development.

Mr Abbas also stressed the importance of holding reconciliation discussions between different factions as a “serious step and important step” towards unity, Palestine's state news agency Wafa reported.

The President made his remarks at the 11th Fatah Revolutionary Council session in Ramallah.

Revolutionary Council member Tayseer Nasrallah told The National that the first meeting to be held by the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation committee is set for next week.

Mr Nasrallah, however, criticised the slow progress, given that the first meeting between the factions was held in Egypt last month.

“The committee was supposed to have been formed immediately after the meeting,” he said.

“There are many difficult issues to be discussed, like unifying the security apparatus across the West Bank and Gaza and holding elections.”

Mr Abbas had called for holding presidential and legislative elections in 2021 but ultimately postponed the vote, citing concerns that Israel would not allow them to be held in East Jerusalem.

Fatah and Hamas have made several attempts at reconciliation in the past that have all eventually fallen through.

Mr Nasrallah said he was not optimistic that this round of talks would be any different.

Earlier this month, Hamas leaders pushed for holding municipal elections in the Gaza Strip – which would be the first in 17 years. It remains unclear when the vote will be held.

Updated: August 24, 2023, 10:36 PM