Hamas Agrees to Fatah Talks on Palestinian Unity

Hamas Agrees to Fatah Talks on Palestinian UnityHamas Agrees to Fatah Talks on Palestinian Unity

Hamas has agreed to talks with the rival Fatah movement and expressed its willingness to hold general elections in the Palestinian territories.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Hamas said it has accepted key conditions set by President Mahmoud Abbas, and dissolved the Gaza administrative committee, a body viewed by Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) as a parallel government, Al Jazeera reported.

Hamas has run Gaza since 2007, when it forced troops loyal to Abbas from the coastal enclave a year after defeating his Fatah movement in parliamentary elections.

Since then, the Palestinian leadership has been divided between two rival governments, with Hamas controlling Gaza and Abbas in charge of autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Repeated attempts at reconciliation between the two factions have failed in the past.  

In its Sunday statement, Hamas invited a unity government led by Abbas to return to Gaza and said it was ready to enter talks with Fatah.

The unity government was formed in 2014, but has not been able to operate in Gaza.

“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 by Hamas said.

Fatah has welcomed the new pledges, but said it wants to see vows implemented before making the next move.

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