Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two principal Palestinian Islamist movements, are holding talks “at the highest level” in an effort to merge the two factions. According to an Islamic Jihad spokesperson, the efforts at reconciliation are in the interest of the Palestinian cause and the future of the Palestinian liberation movement. “An in-depth dialogue has actually begun, both internally and externally, with the aim of uniting,” he added.
This represents the first time the possibility of merger between Hamas and Islamic Jihad is made public.
Reconciliation talks between them come as the reconciliation deal between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and Fatah, which dominates the West Bank’s Palestinian Authority, has been slow to gain traction. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad maintain headquarters in the Gaza Strip and in Damascus. The two groups have actively advocated violent resistance to establish a Palestinian state, though some Hamas members recently hinted the movement was willing to endorse non-violence.
The Daily Star, Lebanon