Palestinian president met Hamas leader

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ALGIERS: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met publicly for the first time in over five years, on the sidelines of Algerian independence anniversary celebrations.

Algeria’s state broadcaster reported late Tuesday that representatives of the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas movement also attended this meeting, which it called “historic”.

The pair, who officially last met face-to-face in Doha in October 2016, were brought together in a meeting with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, whose country marked the 60th anniversary of independence from France.

Abbas’ secular Fatah party, which dominates the Palestinian Authority that rules the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has been at loggerheads with Hamas since elections in 2007, when the movement took control of Gaza.

Tebboune and Abbas also signed a document to name a street “Algeria” in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank on Wednes­day as he was attempting to flee an army raid, officials on both sides said.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the man as Rafiq Riyad Ghannem, 20, saying he was shot by Israeli troops in Jaba, a town near the flashpoint city of Jenin in the northern West Bank.

Israel’s military said it had conducted “counterterrorism activity” in Jaba early on Wednesday.

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