meshal - AP - Sept 25 2010
Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad shakes hands with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Damascus, September 25, 2010. Photo by AP
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South Africa's diplomatic mission in Ramallah is trying to assist the reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah, on the assumption that internal Palestinian unity is necessary to successfully fight the Israeli occupation.

South Africa's representative to the Palestinian Authority, Dr. Ted Pekane, and Dr. Alexander Boraine, an special envoy for these talks, announced the effort yesterday.

Boraine, who served as deputy to Archbishop Desmond Tutu when the latter chaired South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, met this week with representatives of Fatah, Hamas, independents and the PA.

Boraine had been scheduled to travel to Gaza yesterday for meetings with Hamas figures there, but said he learned Tuesday night that Israel would not let him enter the Strip.