Morsi meets Abbas, Hamas leader in Cairo
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Morsi meets Abbas, Hamas leader in Cairo

Egyptian president steps between rival factions groups in latest drive for Palestinian unity

January 2013 meeting between Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (right) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo. (photo credit: AP/Egyptian Presidency)
January 2013 meeting between Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (right) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo. (photo credit: AP/Egyptian Presidency)

Egypt’s Islamist president has waded into a bitter Palestinian rivalry, meeting separately with leaders of the factions.

Mohammed Morsi first talked to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday and then met with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

Hamas is an offshoot of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood organization.

In November 2012, the Morsi administration mediated a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel that ended the IDF’s Operation Pillar of Defense.

The two Palestinian groups have been at odds since Hamas overran Gaza in 2007, ousting from the area forces from Fatah, which Abbas leads. Many efforts to end the split have failed since then.

In a sign that the equation may be changing with the Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt, for the first time Hamas allowed thousands of Fatah backers to rally in Gaza last week.

In 2011, Mashaal and Abbas signed a reconciliation agreement, but it was not implemented.

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