Hamas ready to repair split with Fatah

Statement does not clarify major sticking point in past on whether Hamas is ready to place its security forces under Palestinian Authority control



Palestinian militant group Hamas has said it is ready to hold talks with the rival Fatah movement.

The group has also expressed willingness to dissolve its governing body in the Gaza Strip  and announced it is to hold a general election.

A statement, released  on Sunday, is seen as a significant attempt to end the 10 year rift between the West Bank and Gaza that started when Hamas forced the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority out of Gaza in 2007.

The last general election was held there in 2006 when Hamas swept to power.

The announcement followed indirect negotiations between the two Palestinian groups which were led by the Egyptian General Intelligence Services  in Cairo.

Fatah welcomed the statement and thanked Egypt for its efforts.

Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah delegation to Egypt, said: "This step strengthens the unity of the Palestinian political echelon and ends the abysmal division that resulted in the suffering of our people."

Fatah's deputy leader Mahmoud al-Aloul gave a tentative welcome to the news and called for other issues to be resolved, including control of border crossings.

Hamas, led by Yahya Sinwar in Gaza,  said it was ready for negotiations for a unity government -  but it is not clear whether it is ready to place its security forces under the control of Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank.

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

Hamas controls Gaza, while Fatah leads the Palestinian Authority in the parts of the West Bank not under Israeli control.

Hamas  is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the US, EU, UK and other powers.

Since 2007, Israel and Egypt have maintained a land and sea blockade on Gaza in an attempt to prevent attacks by Gaza-based militants.

Mr Abbas will leave for New York for the United Nations General Assembly on Sunday.  He is to meet US President Donald Trump there on Wednesday, ahead of the PA leader’s speech at the UN Thursday.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive