Hamas says it accepts reconciliation demands

17 Septembre, 2017, 11:08 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Hamas says it accepts reconciliation demands

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, also said it was ready for talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah on forming a unity government and holding elections.

Relations between Hamas and Fatah have remain strained despite a 2014 agreement to form a national reconciliation government.

The islamist movement leading Gaza strip since it ousted palestinian Authority, controlled by Fatah movement of palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in 2007 after winning general elections in 2006.

Since then, the Palestinian leadership has been divided between two rival governments. Repeated attempts at reconciliation have failed.

Hamas announced this morning that it is willing to hold discussions with Fatah, close the directorate in Gaza that served as an interim government and carry out general elections.

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

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

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Egypt relayed Fatah demands to Hamas that as a first step, it must dissolve the administrative committee, its de facto government in Gaza, and allow the unity government to take charge.

Punishing measures included reducing electricity payments for the Gaza strip and cutting salaries for civil servants there.

But Egyptian reports said a Fatah delegation was in Egypt on Saturday to discuss a possible reconciliation.

The deal was not clear whether Hamas is ready to place its security forces under Abbas' control - a key sticking point that has scuttled past attempts.

The Gaza Strip, a coastal enclave of some two million people, has faced deteriorating humanitarian conditions, with a severe electricity crisis and a lack of clean water, among other issues.

United Nations officials have called for the blockade to be lifted, but Israel says it is necessary to stop Hamas from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used to make them.

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