By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – The UN's envoy for Middle East peace urged Palestinian factions Monday to immediately put aside their differences and reconcile following the latest episode of violence between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“The latest outbreak of violence came just as the United Nations and its partners were intensifying efforts to alleviate Gaza’s deepening humanitarian and economic crises, and, critically, to provide space for ongoing Egyptian-led efforts to advance intra-Palestinian reconciliation, ” Nickolay Mladenov told the Security Council.
“This is essential to ending the occupation and resolving the wider political conflict, ” he added.
Successive efforts to bring an end to the deep divide between Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority have failed for more than a decade as Mladenov warned “the clock on intra-Palestinian reconciliation is ticking “.
“I urge all parties to not waste time and engage in earnest and achieve visible progress in the coming six months, ” he said. “If any side fails, every side fails. ”
Relations soured between Hamas and Fatah following the former's victory in 2006's parliamentary elections. Palestinian infighting in the Gaza Strip a year later led to Fatah officials being ousted from the coastal enclave.