April 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party will try unilaterally to end political split between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a member of Fatah central committee said Monday.

Abbas headed a meeting of the central committee in Ramallah Sunday, during which the members "agreed to exert more efforts in the Fatah side to speed up the Palestinian internal reconciliation, " Fatah official Mahmoud al-Aloul told Xinhua.

Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip by force in June 2007, rejected an Egyptian proposal in October to reconcile with Fatah which has been based in the West Bank since the take-over of Gaza, saying it had reservations that needed to be reconsidered.

On Monday, Sufian Abu Zaida, a Fatah central committee member who crossed into the enclave Thursday, visited Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad at his house in a rare meeting between the rivals.

Al-Aloul said Fatah has decided to step up its efforts to persuade Hamas to sign the Egypt-drafted proposal, which seeks the formation of a unity government and the end of splits between the two sides.

He said Qatar and Saudi Arabia are also trying to bridge the gaps between Hamas and Fatah, implementing a decision made during the Arab League summit in Libya last month.


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