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Church officials in Holy Land offer differing reactions to Fatah, Hamas reconciliation

April 25, 2014

The director of Caritas Jerusalem has welcomed the reconciliation between the two leading Palestinian political factions-- Fatah, which governs the Palestinian National Authority, and Hamas, which governs Gaza.

The United States government classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization, as do the Canadian government and the European Union.

“The people here are all happy, and the Palestinians of Gaza are even happier than us,” said Father Raed Abusahlia, according to the Fides news service.

“The reconciliation among Palestinian political forces has provoked negative reactions in Israel and also in the USA,” he added. “But the division among Palestinians was a factor that weakened the peace process. The whole world thought: with what force can the Palestinians participate in the peace process if they are divided among themselves?”

On the other hand, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, told Vatican Radio: “Reconciliation among Palestinians is very important, but at the same time, it is important to keep the relations among Palestinians and Israelis: peace negotiation has to continue.”

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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Apr. 26, 2014 8:42 PM ET USA

    "The director of Caritas Jerusalem has welcomed the reconciliation between the two leading Palestinian political factions-- Fatah, which governs the Palestinian National Authority, and Hamas, which governs Gaza." This is irrational. If I had (God forbid) a brother with whom I was estranged because he was a murderer/rapist, but then reconciled with him strangely enough even though he had not changed... would that be a "good thing...?" You do not reconcile with evil.