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Direct talks between Abu Mazen and Hamas began in Gaza. The Palestinian president sent an envoy on his behalf to the talks in Gaza

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A Palestinian source told us today that: "Abu Mazen is preparing for a right-wing government in Israel, and wants to show the world that this time the Palestinians are the ones seeking peace, while Israel is the one saying no."

The President of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen, sent a personal envoy to Gaza this week for direct talks with Hamas. The agreement on the opening of talks between the two main Palestinian movements, Fatah, and Hamas, came after a recent meeting between the deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas, Musa Abu Marzouk, and Azzam al-Ahmed, a member of Fatah's central committee. Abu Mazen's main goal is to present a Palestinian front of reconciliation towards Israel, one that will send a message to the Western world that the opposition to the talks now is Israel and not the Palestinians.

Practically speaking, it will be very difficult to reach an agreement between the movements because Hamas opposes entering the PLO on Abu Mazen's terms, that is, as a movement within the representative body of the Palestinians, which is controlled by the Fatah movement, while Abu Mazen will oppose Hamas' far-reaching interpretation of his victory in the 2006 parliamentary elections. The interest of the Hamas movement in the current talks in Gaza is to emphasize the status of the organization in the Palestinian public, a status that Iran Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad have been trying to undermine in the past year by pouring in large amounts of money to establish a new Palestinian fighting body. The goal of Iran Hezbollah and Jihad is to change the image of control over Palestinian nationalism, in such a way that Palestine will be a faction of Islam, and part of a Middle Eastern Islamic entity, in contrast to the Palestinian nationalist movements, including Hamas, which are working to establish a civilian Palestinian nation-state.

About half a year ago, talks were held at an intermediate level between the Fatah and Hamas movements, in Ramallah, between Al Madani, a close associate of Abu Mazen, and al-Sha'ar, who is the head of Hamas in the West Bank, but the talks we exclusively reported here exploded.