Ha­mas says yes to con­di­tions af­ter a decade of divi­sion

Mil­i­tant group ac­cepts de­mands to make way for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion

The Dallas Morning News - - World - Mo­hammed Daragh­meh, The Associated Press

RA­MAL­LAH, West Bank — The Ha­mas mil­i­tant group on Sun­day said it has ac­cepted key con­di­tions de­manded by its ri­val, Pales­tinian Author­ity Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas, to clear the way for a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion deal af­ter a 10-year rift that has left the Pales­tini­ans di­vided be­tween two gov­ern­ments.

In a state­ment, Ha­mas said it was “responding to the gen­er­ous Egyp­tian ef­forts, which re­flect the Egyp­tian de­sire to end the split and achieve rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, and based on our de­sire to achieve na­tional unity.”

Ha­mas said it had dis­solved a con­tentious ad­min­is­tra­tive com­mit­tee that runs Gaza, in­vited Ab­bas’ gov­ern­ment to re­turn to Gaza, and was ready to hold new elec­tions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Pales­tini­ans have been di­vided be­tween two ri­val gov­ern­ments since 2007, when Ha­mas drove Ab­bas’ forces out of the Gaza Strip, leav­ing the pres­i­dent in con­trol only of au­ton­o­mous ar­eas of the West Bank.

Re­peated at­tempts at rec­on­cil­i­a­tion have failed.

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

Gaza’s econ­omy is in tat­ters, and res­i­dents of the ter­ri­tory have elec­tric­ity for only a few hours a day.

Egypt re­cently in­vited top Ha­mas of­fi­cials to Cairo for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion dis­cus­sions, and last week Ab­bas sent a del­e­ga­tion of rep­re­sen­ta­tives to Egypt as well.

De­spite Sun­day’s an­nounce­ment, any rec­on­cil­i­a­tion deal faces many ob­sta­cles. It was not clear whether Ha­mas was ready to place its se­cu­rity forces un­der Ab­bas’ con­trol — a key stick­ing point that has scut­tled past rec­on­cil­i­a­tion at­tempts.

There also was no com­ment from Ab­bas’ gov­ern­ment.

It also was not im­me­di­ately clear how Egypt’s lat­est ef­fort aligns with its pre­vi­ous tacit sup­port for a sep­a­rate Gaza power-shar­ing deal be­tween Ha­mas and Mo­hammed Dahlan, an ex­iled for­mer Ab­bas aide-turned-ri­val.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.