Palestine's Hamas ready for talks with Fatah, elections: statement

Published On: September 17, 2017 11:03 AM NPT By: Reuters

CAIRO, Sept 17: Palestine’s Hamas group has agreed to talks with rival Fatah movement, to dissolve the Gaza administrative committee and hold general elections as a way to implement a deal to end their long-running feud, the group said in a statement on Sunday.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Western-backed Palestine Authority, controlled by Fatah, fought a war with Hamas over Gaza in 2007, which led to Hamas taking over.

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

Hamas said in its statement that it agreed to dissolve administration running Gaza, allow the reconcillation government to carry out its duties in the territory, to hold elections and enter talks with Fatah.

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

With the prospect of a Middle East peace initiative by a new U.S. Trump administration more sympathetic to Israel, Abbas has put pressure on Hamas, including not paying Israel for electricity for Gaza territory and cutting salaries for civil servants there.

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