Al-Azhar grand sheikh pledges to support Palestinian reconciliation

News article, posted 11.21.2012, from Egypt, in:
Al-Azhar grand sheikh pledges to support Palestinian reconciliation (Photo: Al-Masry Al-Youm)

Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb has renewed his call for rival Palestinian factions to achieve reconciliation in order to face Israel as a united front.

During a meeting on Wednesday with Ramadan Shallah, secretary general of the Islamic Jihad, and his deputy Zeyad al-Nakhary, Tayyeb expressed Al-Azhar’s readiness to take part in supporting the reconciliation effort.

Shallah updated Tayyeb on the circumstances in Gaza and commended Egypt and Al-Azhar’s support for Gazans and the whole Palestinian people.

In May 2011, Palestinian factions signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo during an official celebration attended by Arab and Islamic countries’ representatives. The agreement aimed to end divisions that had lasted for almost four years.

The agreement’s main terms stipulated forming a government of independent figures who would prepare for elections and deal with local issues that resulted from the former division.

Despite signing the agreement a year ago, rival factions have not achieved reconciliation.

The London-based Al-Quds al-Araby newspaper quoted Palestinian sources on Monday as saying that joint Egyptian-Turkish-Qatari efforts are being exerted to reunite rival Palestinian factions.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to sources, agreed on Friday with Hamas Leader Khaled Meshaal on calling a meeting of Palestinian leaders to work toward ending division.