Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian speaks during a press conference in Beijing

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian speaks during a press conference in Beijing

Reuters:  Rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah have expressed the will to seek reconciliation through dialogue at unity talks in Beijing, China's foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The two factions have not managed to heal political disputes since Hamas fighters expelled Fatah from the Gaza Strip in a short war in 2007, and their talks took place against the backdrop of Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza.

"The Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) and Islamic Resistance Group (Hamas) representatives arrived in Beijing a few days ago for in-depth and candid dialogue," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian told a regular briefing.

"They agreed to continue the course of talks to achieve the realisation of Palestinian solidarity and unity at an early date."

Lin said both sides had thanked Beijing for its efforts to "promote Palestinian internal unity and reached an agreement on further dialogue".

In a statement later on Tuesday, Hamas praised China's efforts to reunite Palestinian factions, its historical "supportive stance on the Palestinian cause, and its rejection of the genocide against our people".

Israel denies accusations of genocide in Gaza, saying it aims to wipe out Hamas and is not fighting the Palestinian people. Gaza's health ministry says over 34,500 Palestinians have been killed in the war, touched off by Hamas' cross-border attack on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 Israelis, according to Israeli tallies.

Hamas said its delegation, led by its head of international relations Moussa Abu Mazouk, held talks with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Deng Li in the capital Beijing on Sunday.

It said the talks reviewed efforts to achieve a ceasefire, "the tragic humanitarian situation" caused by Israel's bmonardments and invasion and the possibility of China enhancing humanitarian aid to Gaza.

“In conclusion, both sides affirmed the continuation of consultations and working towards achieving Palestinian national unity, with China ready to provide all necessary support.”

There was no immediate comment from Fatah, the movement of Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority that exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Israel is waiting for Hamas to respond to proposals for a halt to the fighting in Gaza and a return of Israeli hostages before sending a team to Cairo to continue talks, a person close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

The United States welcomes any Chinese efforts that lead to stability and security in the region or secure a deal to free hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

"If that's the outcome - that China is able to help convince Hamas to accept this deal, get those hostages home - then of course that would be all to the good," he said.

Kirby added that he was not aware of any U.S. communication with China about its talks with Palestinian groups.

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