Hamas Agrees To Demands To End Decade-Long Palestinian Rift

Hamas Agrees To Demands To End Decade-Long Palestinian Rift

Hamas has agreed to hold talks with the rival Fatah movement, dissolve the Gaza administrative committee and hold general elections in a deal to end their long-running feud in the Palestinian territories, the group said in a statement early on Sunday.

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.

"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 general elections", it said.

In its statement, Hamas said that it meets " generous efforts of egyptians, which reflect desire of egypt to end division and achieve reconciliation" and talks about his " desire to achieve national unity ".

The Gaza Strip's militant Hamas rulers said they were ready to take key steps meant to allow the reunification of the rival Palestinian governments.

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On Friday, Abbas brought an official Fatah delegation to Cairo to join the reconciliation dialogue that Egypt has been sponsoring, before which Abbas chaired a meeting for Palestine Liberation organization executive committee in Ramallah.

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

Numerous attempts since 2011 to reconcile the two movements and form a power-sharing unity government in Gaza and the occupied West Bank have so far failed.

In March, Abbas stepped up pressure on Hamas after it formed the contentious committee that runs Gaza.

The move also comes after a series of Palestinian Authority measures created to pressure Hamas, including reduction of electricity in Gaza and cutting of salaries.

The group said in an emailed press statement that it would dissolve a disputed administrative committee in Gaza and wants Abbas' government to come to the coastal enclave. Gaza's economy is in tatters and residents of the territory have electricity for only a few hours a day.

Still, it's not clear whether Hamas will brush away a formidable obstacle to reconciliation by putting its security forces under Abbas's control.

Talal Oukal, a Gaza-based political analyst and academic said there is apparently "a wave of optimism this time because it seems that the Egyptians are more serious than before", adding that Hamas and Egypt's ties are getting better, so Hamas "is keen to keep these ties good with Egypt".

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