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Last updated at 11:25 GMT, Friday, 25 November 2011

Palestinian groups meet


25 November 2011

A meeting between the two main Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas has ended with talk of a new partnership to end almost five years of division.

Despite the optimistic words there is little sign of definite action to follow them up.

Jon Donnison

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

President Abbas


Click to hear the report


Fatah in power in the West Bank and Hamas who govern in Gaza have been at loggerheads, sometimes violently, for almost five years.

Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal met for the first time in six months to try and re-ignite a unity deal that never got off the ground when it was proposed back in May.

There was a lot of positive talk. President Abbas said there were no longer any differences between the two sides. Mr Meshaal said a new page in partnership had been turned.

But many will perceive these talks as having ended in failure. The substance Palestinians will have been looking for was not there. There was no news on the possible makeup of a new interim unity government to work towards elections next year.

That issue seems to remain a major sticking point. They did agree to hold more talks in a month's time but many Palestinians, who've been waiting for political unity for years, will not be holding their breath.

Jon Donnison, BBC News


Click to hear the vocabulary


at loggerheads

in a situation where they cannot agree with each other

re-ignite a unity deal

bring to life an agreement to work together

never got off the ground

didn't happen even though it was agreed

a new page

a fresh start


understand and realise


firm and definite agreements and action


combination of people



a major sticking point

an important issue which they cannot agree on

holding their breath

expecting something to happen soon