China to Host Fatah-Hamas Peace Talks


China will host peace talks between Arab rival factions Fatah and Hamas on Friday.

A Fatah official confirmed the meeting with Reuters, stating that a delegation led by senior official Azzam Al-Ahmed had already left for China. Similarly, a Hamas official said that their team, led by senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk, would be flying to China later on Friday.

Hamas and the Fatah party, led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, have been at odds since the 2006 Gaza elections which saw Hamas emerge victorious. However, the United States and the European Union refused to recognize the Hamas-led government due to the group’s terrorist activities and its refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

The ensuing political stalemate and economic sanctions imposed on the PA exacerbated tensions, ultimately leading to a brief civil war. Hamas emerged victorious and expelled Fatah from the coastal enclave in 2007.

China’s growing diplomatic influence in the Middle East has been evident in recent years, with the country maintaining strong ties with Iran. The Islamic Republic has been funding its terror proxies, such as Hamas, for decades in its fight against Israel.

Chinese diplomat Wang Kejian had a meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar last month. During the meeting, Kejian and Haniyeh “exchanged views on the Gaza conflict and other issues,” according to a readout from China’s Foreign Ministry.

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