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Palestinian Rivals Meet With Saudi King in Mecca


Leaders of rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas are in Saudi Arabia for talks on ending a deadly power struggle and forming a power-sharing government.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and exiled Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal met separately with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the Palestinian leaders, as well as Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, meet in the Muslim holy city of Mecca.

King Abdullah says he hopes the leaders will reach an agreement to "stop the bloodshed." The Palestinian leaders also say they are close to an agreement on a unity government.

Fighting between Hamas and Fatah erupted in December. More than 90 Palestinians have been killed in street battles since then. On Tuesday, gunmen killed a Hamas commander in Gaza City.

Earlier, gunfire erupted at the crossing terminal Mr. Haniyeh was transiting through from Gaza to Egypt on his way to Saudi Arabia. There were no injuries.

Fatah and Hamas have been locked in a power struggle since parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip brought Hamas to power last year.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.

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