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How a jailhouse letter to Abbas could fast forward Palestinian unity talks

It remains unclear whether tentative steps will lead to a genuine unification of the fractured Palestinian national movement.
Palestinians look out a window of a building damaged by an Israeli air strikes in the past during a rally marking the 46th anniversary of the founding of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), in Gaza City December 7, 2013. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST ANNIVERSARY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - GM1E9C71LLS01

The fractured Palestinian national movement received a small positive jolt recently when a left-wing Palestinian Liberation Organization leader smuggled a reconciliation letter from jail to the Palestinian president. Ahmad Saadat, the leader of the Palestine Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), called for a serious renewal of unity talks. The letter has sparked guarded hopes for movement on the stalled Palestinian unity talks. A high-level meeting is planned May 16 at the Ramallah presidential headquarters.

Laila Khaled, a member of the PFLP’s politburo who lives in exile in Amman, Jordan, told Al-Monitor that the time for talk is over and that serious decisions need to be made. “We need to stop talking and begin acting. If President [Mahmoud] Abbas agrees to work on a new strategy for standing up to the occupiers, we are on the right track,” she said.

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