Hamas Accepts PA Reconciliation Demands to Dissolve Gaza Administration, Hold Elections

Kristopher Drake
September 18, 2017

According to the statement, Hamas is also ready to hold general elections.

Palestinian Islamist Hamas group said on Sunday it has dissolved its administration that runs Gaza and agrees to hold general elections in order to end a long-running feud with President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement.

Hamas agreed to dissolve the administrative committee it had formed in March past year to run the daily affairs in the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave that Hamas has been ruling since it had violently taken control of it in the summer of 2007.

Hamas, which the West considers a terrorist organization, controls Gaza, and Fatah - West Bank of the Jordan river and the government of the Palestinian territories. Repeated attempts have been made by regional forces to achieve a reconciliation between the two parties, but all efforts have so far failed.

Hoping to pressure Hamas to relinquish control of Gaza, President Mahmoud Abbas has cut payments to Israel for the electricity it supplies to Gaza.

Ahead of Sunday's announcement, a Fatah delegation visited Cairo a day earlier to meet with Egyptian officials regarding the formation of a Palestinian unity government.

Fatah has welcomed the new pledges, but said it wants to see vows implemented before making the next move. By doing this, Hamas has demonstrated a willingness to reach agreement with the Palestinian Fatah movement under the mediation of Egypt.

"If this is Hamas statement, then this is a positive sign", he told Reuters.

Hamas on Tuesday said it was ready to reconciliation talks with the Fatah without preconditions.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, including Hamas, have fought three wars since 2008.

The last election held by the administrative committee in Gaza was in 2006, when Hamas achieved a surprising victory leading to the political rift between Ramallah and the Gaza Strip. There was no immediate comment from Abbas's government, and a senior Palestinian official was guarded in his optimism.

Hamas's position has been weakened by developments in the region, including Saudi-led moves against Qatar, once a major financial contributor to Gaza.

Dahlan is sponsored by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, which both aided his recent re-entry into Palestinian politics through a deal that eased Gaza's chronic electricity crisis and calls for the opening of Egypt's border with Gaza on a permanent basis.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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