Fatah welcomes Hamas reconciliation step

Haniyeh announced that all Fatah members who had fled Gaza in 2007 were welcome to return except those charged with wrongdoing.

Fatah welcomes Hamas reconciliation step

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Fatah lawmaker has described as "positive" a recent reconciliation overture by the Gaza's ruling Hamas movement that can be built on to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation.

"Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's initiative is positive and can be built on," lawmaker Maged Abu Shamala told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

"Reconciliation does not start between leaders, but between the people who lock horns on the ground and those who were harmed by divisions."

Abu Shamala arrived in Gaza on Tuesday along with two other Fatah lawmakers, in the first such visit since Hamas and rival group Fatah engaged in hostilities in 2007, opening the door for the former's control of Gaza, while Fatah seized control of the West Bank.

Earlier in January, Haniyeh announced that all Fatah members who had fled Gaza in 2007 were welcome to return except those charged with wrongdoing.

The prime minister also said that Gaza's Interior Ministry would release Fatah members arrested on political charges.

Abu Shamala expressed hopes that other Fatah leaders would be allowed to return to Gaza and that all political detainees in the West Bank would be released.

"Real reconciliation does not come by signing agreements, but it starts when it is applied on the ground," Abu Shamala said.

"If this happens, the Palestinians will manage to achieve their objectives and will win support of the whole world," he added.

The Fatah official said he coordinated his current visit to Gaza, which is expected to last for ten days, with the prime minister and the foreign minister of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

In 2011, Fatah and Hamas hammered out a reconciliation deal under Egyptian sponsorship. The following year, the two sides agreed to form a unity government headed up by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to pave the way for parliamentary polls.

The terms of the agreement, however, were never implemented.

Despite their vast differences, particularly over the thorny issue of peace talks with Israel, both governments maintain considerable coordination, especially in the education and health sectors.

Hamas slams Abbas' decision to unilaterally name elections czar

Palestinian resistance group Hamas has criticized a decision by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to name a new election commission chief "without consultation."

In a statement,Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the decision represented "a violation of the Cairo agreement to form the election commission based on consensus."

On Wednesday, Abbas named Samih Selim Shabib as new election commission chief, replacing Rami al-Hamdallah, who was named as prime minister.

Hamas and Fatah, the latter of which is led by Abbas, signed two agreements in Egypt and Qatar –in 2011 and 2012 respectively –to form a national unity government to oversee upcoming general elections.

Due to longstanding disputes between the two factions, however, the terms of the two agreements were never implemented.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Ocak 2014, 11:14