Palestinian leaders meeting in Mecca say they are prepared for marathon talks to bring an end to factional fighting and crippling Western sanctions. Since Hamas won parliamentary elections last year it has been locked in a power struggle with the rival Fatah movement over the formation of a unity government. But in a message to the Palestinian people, Hamas’ political leader, Khaled Meshaal, promised that no-one would leave the table until a deal is reached.
However any agreement made at the meeting overlooking Islam’s holiest site will also have to appease the United States and Israel, who have both called on Hamas to renounce violence and recognise the Jewish state. The pressure on the talks’ participants could not be higher as clashes in Gaza between rival Palestinian militants continue to claim victims. More than 90 people have now been killed since December as the conflict threatens to descend into civil war.