Highlights

  • Palestinian president, Hamas leader met publicly for the first time in over five years
  • They met on the sidelines of Algerian independence anniversary celebrations
  • The 'secural' & 'Islamist' groups have been at loggerheads since 2007

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Palestinian rivals President Abbas, Hamas chief hold rare meet in Algeria

The meeting holds significance as Abbas’ secular Fatah party, which dominates the Palestinian Authority that rules the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has been at loggerheads with Hamas since elections in 2007.

On the sidelines of Algerian independence anniversary celebrations on Tuesday, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met publicly for the first time in over five years.

The duo had officially last met face-to-face in Doha in October 2016 and were brought together in a meeting with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, whose country marked the 60th anniversary of independence from France.

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The meeting holds significance as Abbas’ secular Fatah party, which dominates the Palestinian Authority that rules the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has been at loggerheads with Hamas since elections in 2007, which is when the Islamists took control of Gaza.

Tebboune and Abbas also signed a document to name a street in the West Bank city of Ramallah as “Algeria” .

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