Ha­mas agrees to re­solve split with Fatah

Will dis­solve ri­val gov­ern­ment to Pales­tinian Pres­i­dent Mah­mud Ab­bas

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Ha­mas said Sun­day it had agreed to steps to­ward re­solv­ing a decade-long split with Pales­tinian pres­i­dent Mah­mud Ab­bas’s Fatah, an­nounc­ing it would dis­solve a body seen as a ri­val gov­ern­ment and was ready to hold elec­tions.

The state­ment comes af­ter Ha­mas lead­ers held talks with Egyp­tian of­fi­cials last week, and with the Gaza Strip run by the Pales­tinian Is­lamist move­ment fac­ing a mount­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis.

Ha­mas said it had agreed to key de­mands made by Fatah: dis­solv­ing the so­called “ad­min­is­tra­tive com­mit­tee” cre­ated in March, while say­ing it was ready for elec­tions and ne­go­ti­a­tions to­ward a unity gov­ern­ment.

It called on the Pales­tinian Author­ity gov­ern­ment based in the Is­raeli-oc­cu­pied West Bank “to come to Gaza to ex­er­cise its func­tions and carry out its du­ties im­me­di­ately.”

It was un­clear, how­ever, whether the steps would re­sult in fur­ther con­crete ac­tion to­ward end­ing the deep di­vi­sion with Fatah.

Ha­mas for now con­tin­ues to run a de facto sep­a­rate ad­min­is­tra­tion in the Gaza Strip and is in charge of the se­cu­rity forces there.

Pre­vi­ous at­tempts to re­solve the split have re­peat­edly failed.

Ab­bas’s Fatah wel­comed the an­nounce­ment, say­ing it fol­lowed “ex­ten­sive meet­ings” be­tween its own rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Egyp­tian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials.

Fatah of­fi­cial Az­zam al-Ah­mad said a bi­lat­eral meet­ing with Ha­mas would be or­ga­nized to be­gin work­ing out a way for­ward.

The Gaza Strip has been un­der an Is­raeli block­ade for around a decade, while its bor­der with Egypt has also re­mained largely closed in re­cent years. Is­rael says its block­ade is nec­es­sary to stop Ha­mas from ob­tain­ing weapons or ma­te­ri­als that could be used to make them.

Ab­bas is cur­rently in New York for the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly meet­ing, where he is set to speak on Wed­nes­day.

UN Mid­dle East en­voy Nick­o­lay Mlade­nov said: “I welcome the re­cent state­ment by Ha­mas an­nounc­ing the dis­solv­ing of the ad­min­is­tra­tive com­mit­tee in Gaza and agree­ment to al­low the gov­ern­ment of na­tional con­sen­sus to as­sume its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in Gaza.”

“It is crit­i­cal that the grave hu­man­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion in Gaza, most no­tably the crip­pling elec­tric­ity cri­sis, be ad­dressed as a pri­or­ity.”

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