World Media

Hamas Signaling Unity Government With Fatah Is Possible

Hamas Signaling Unity Government With Fatah Is Possible

Hamas has agreed to talks with the rival Fatah movement and expressed its willingness to hold general elections in the Palestinian territories.

Hamas has dissolved its administration that runs the besieged Gaza Strip and is now agreeing to hold general elections, the movement announced on Sunday.

Hamas and Fatah fought a short civil war in Gaza in 2007 and since then Hamas has governed the small coastal enclave.

Attempts to reconcile the two and form a power-sharing unity government in Gaza and the West Bank have so far failed.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is preparing for his meetings and speeches in NY but meanwhile, Hamas is presenting him with another reconciliation challenge supported by Cairo.

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The last election held by the administrative committee in Gaza was in 2006, when Hamas achieved a surprising victory leading to the political rift between Ramallah and the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian Authority also presurrized Hamas by reducing electricity in Gaza and cutting of salaries.

The breakthrough came after separate talks in recent days by Hamas and Fatah delegations with Egyptian intelligence officials in Cairo.

Fatah Vice Chairman Mahmoud al-Aloul welcomed Hamas's announcement, but said his party would first like to confirm its veracity.

It added that it had decided to make the announcement in response to Egyptian efforts to achieve reconciliation and end internal Palestinian divisions.

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The announcement followed indirect negotiations between Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas in Cairo.

Egypt has been brokering talks with Fatah to implement a deal signed in 2011 in Cairo with Hamas to end their dispute and form an interim government before elections. "The administrative committee is now dissolved and the government can come to Gaza today to assume its responsibilities and duties".

The unemployment rate now stands at 42 percent in Gaza, infrastructure for water and electricity do not meet its residents' basic needs and half of the population relies on humanitarian aid.

Hamas has been greatly weakened by an Israeli and Egyptian blockade, three wars with Israel and worldwide isolation.

However, he wondered if "Hamas committee is the only obstacle for reaching full reconciliation and ending internal division", saying that he is "personally consciously optimistic", because there are many questions that need answers.

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United Nations officials have urged Israel to lift its decade-long blockade of Gaza.


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