Gaza : Hamas says it is ready for reconciliation with Fatah


Paving the way for possible reconciliation between the West Bank and Gaza, Hamas said Sunday it would dissolve the Gaza administrative committee, allowing a unity government to work in its place and agree on general elections.

"Hamas invites the consensus government to come to Gaza to practice its mission and carry out its duties in the Gaza Strip immediately, and it accepts holding the general elections", the statement said.

Badran also pointed out that his movement's delegation had postponed its departure from Cairo, granting Egyptian officials the chance to convince the Fatah movement to hold serious talks.

A few months ago, Abbas began a series of procedures against Gaza, including taxation and public servants salary cuts, in an attempt to pressure Hamas to consent to abandon its control of the coastal strip.

Other points included the establishment of joint monitoring of border posts and the absorption of Hamas security personnel into the new police force that is to be formed.

Egypt has been brokering talks with Abbas's Fatah group to implement a deal signed in 2011 in Cairo with Islamist Hamas to end its dispute and form an interim government before elections.

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 led by Yahya Sinwar last night agreed to conditions by rival President Abbas including nationwide elections which could finally end a decade old territorial split

The Western-backed Abbas, 82, is now 12 years into what was to be a four-year term and is an unpopular leader according to opinion polls. However, in July 2014, Israel waged a large-scale military offensive on the Gaza Strip that last 50 days.

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

The Hamas delegation was about to leave Egypt when authorities asked them to stay, hoping that a meeting will be held with Fatah, even though head of the Hamas delegation said that they will not meet with their rivals.

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.

"Hamas's step is a positive indication if they really dissolved the administrative committee and showed its willingness to hand over control to the unity government", Mahmoud al-Aloul, a member of Abbas Fatah party, told Voice of Palestine radio.

On his first visit as secretary general in August, UN chief Antonio Guterres said the Gaza Strip faces "one of the most dramatic humanitarian crisis"?that he has witnessed.

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