The head of Hamas resistance group Ismail Haniyeh said on Thursday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has always pushed for intra-Palestine reconciliation.

Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, he said: “President Erdogan has been in favor of intra-Palestine reconciliation for a long time and urges Hamas and Fatah to unite.”

Earlier this week, Erdogan received the Hamas leader in Istanbul.

He also made a phone call to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“We welcomed the Turkish role to help us achieve reconciliation and end the division,” he said.

Hamas and Fatah have remained at odds since the former seized the Gaza Strip from the latter in mid-2007 after several days of street fighting.

In 2017, the two factions signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo in hopes of ending years of animosity and division.

Terms of the agreement, however, have never been implemented amid deep-seated differences between the two movements.

*Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

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