Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Hamas says ready to hand Gaza to a Palestinian unity government

Khatib Flash90 Khatib Flash90
Andrew Cummings | 18 September, 2017, 00:53

Hamas said on Sunday it would do away with a body seen as an alternative government in the Gaza Strip in a step towards reconciliation with rival Fatah following discussions with Egypt.

In April 2014, Hamas, Fatah and the PLO factions signed on Shatti (Beach) agreement at the house of the current Hamas chief Ismail Haneya in western Gaza, and agreed to form a consensus technocrat government that runs both Gaza and the West Bank headed by Rami Hamdallah.

Early last month, Hamas proposed a new reconciliation initiative that included promises to dissolve the committee - a move Abbas has repeatedly demanded.

Hamas said on Sunday that it had dissolved its administrative committee running Gaza, making way for the arrival of officials from the unity government, who would take control of the area.

He also hailed Hamas's call for the unity government to resume its normal work in Gaza as well as its approval to hold presidential and legislative elections.

Reunification a decade after Hamas and Abbas's secular Fatah movement battled for control of Gaza may hinge on whether complex issues related to power-sharing - which stymied reconciliation bids in the past - can be resolved.

'We in Fatah movement are ready to implement reconciliation'.

Azzam al-Ahmed, a Fatah participant in the talks, said Hamas and Fatah agreed to meet in Cairo within 10 days, during which time the national unity government should assume responsibility in Gaza. "If this is Hamas's statement, then this is a positive sign,"Aloul told Reuters".

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There also was no comment from Abbas' government.

Recall that in 2007 Hamas after several weeks of civil conflict, seized power in the Gaza strip, ousting Fatah from there.

Hamas's position has been weakened by developments in the region, including Saudi-led moves against Qatar, once a major financial contributor to Gaza.

Residents of Gaza's have electricity for only a few hours a day.

Representatives for Abbas, who is in NY ahead of the U.N. General Assembly this week, could not be reached for comment, nor could Fatah representatives presently in Egypt, which has been hosting talks with Hamas.

Hamas has demonstrated a willingness to reach agreement with the Palestinian Fatah movement under the mediation of Egypt.

PA officials have said Egypt assured Ramallah it will not reopen the Rafah crossing until Abbas's "legitimate authority" is represented on the border.

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