Fatah to intensify dialogue with Egypt to end internal Palestinian split

RAMALLAH, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party announced on Tuesday that it is keen to intensify dialogue with Egypt to end over 10 years of internal Palestinian division.

Fatah announcement was made in an official statement issued after an emergency meeting for its central committee chaired by Abbas in Ramallah.

The meeting, according the statement, discussed the Palestinian internal situation and "the efforts of friendly parties to end the crisis resulting from the positions and policies of the Islamic Hamas Movement in the Gaza Strip."

The central committee commended the efforts of Egypt to end the internal Palestinian division and restore Palestinian unity, said the statement.

It also highlighted Fatah's keenness on "intensive dialogue and rapid dialogue with the brothers in Egypt," saying "Hamas is demanded to implement three major requirements in order to resolve the crisis."

The committee explained that the three demands are "to dissolve the administrative committee (formed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip), to enable the Palestinian consensus government to exercise its functions in the sector and to hold elections."

Azzam Al-Ahmad, member of the central committee, and also in charge of the reconciliation, announced Tuesday that he would meet with senior Egyptian leaders in Cairo on resolving the Palestinian division.

In a written press release, he welcomed the "ongoing efforts on the part of Egypt to end the Palestinian division and to execute the reconciliation agreement, signed by all the Palestinian factions in May 2011, under the auspices of Egypt."

A Hamas delegation, headed by its senior political leader Ismael Haney, has been visiting in Cairo since Sunday.

Following a meeting with Khaled Fawzy, director of the Egyptian Security Intelligence, Hamas issued a statement on Monday, confirming its readiness to conduct dialogues immediately with Fatah movement to draft a reconciliation agreement and to decide the procedures of its implementation.

Hamas emphasized on its "readiness" to immediately disband the administration committee, empower the unity government to start doing its duties in the Gaza Strip, and hold elections, "if that was followed by conducting an expanded conference for all the Palestinian factions in Cairo to form a national unity government."

In response to Hamas statement, Fatah senior official Al-Ahmad said "it's a repetition of many statements," stressing that the basic thing is to "announce" the disband of the administration committee, empower the unity government to start doing its duties in the Gaza Strip, as it does in the West Bank, and hold elections.

He stressed that it would remove the main obstacle to execute all the articles of the reconciliation agreement, adding that the administrative committee was "a big obstacle in restarting the reconciliation efforts in all aspects."

The Fatah leader expressed his hopes that "Hamas should commit to what it signs and announces and executes, so that we can delete the black era of division from the Palestinian history."

Few months ago, Hamas members in the legislative council ratified the formation of a higher committee which exercises control over the Gaza Strip.

Hamas announced it will keep working as long as the (Palestinian) division is still there, and that it will end its work once the unity government starts doing its duties in the Gaza Strip.

In response to that, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas carried out a series of "punitive measures" against Gaza in April by deducting the salaries of the Palestinian Authority employees in the enclave, forcing 7,000 into early retirement, and reducing the funding for the main services in the Strip.

Hamas and Fatah have had many dual agreements and other understandings that involved the Palestinian factions, which aims at putting a practical end to the continued internal division started in 2007, and regaining the desired unity between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. However, all efforts have failed so far.

[ Editor: meng ]
 

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