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Fatah proposes unity government plan to Hamas
Published Wednesday 08/01/2014 (updated) 17/01/2014 19:23
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(MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Fatah reconciliation team has made a proposal to Hamas regarding a national unity government, a Fatah spokesman told Ma'an Wednesday.

The proposal stipulates that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas set dates for new presidential and legislative elections, Osama al-Qawasmeh said.

Al-Qawasmeh told Ma'an that the head of Fatah's reconciliation team, Azzam al-Ahmad, informed Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of the proposal via telephone call on Tuesday.

Haniyeh requested time to discuss the proposal with other Hamas officials, Qwasmeh said, adding that al-Ahmad is arranging to visit Gaza to meet with Hamas leaders.

Qawasmeh said the phone call was made upon direct instruction from Abbas.

The proposal came as Hamas released seven Fatah prisoners who were in Gaza jails for "security reasons."

Gaza Interior Ministry spokesman Ibrahim Salah said he hoped Fatah would make a similar gesture in the West Bank.

Around 20 members of Fatah remain imprisoned in the Gaza Strip, a Fatah spokesman told Ma'an, also Wednesday.

Fayez Abu Atia said that the release of seven Fatah members was positive, but that Fatah wanted all of its jailed members released.

Abu Atia said the release of prisoners would ease the suffering of families who were hurt as a result of the division between the two factions.

"We want Hamas to positively respond to Fatah's proposal to hold elections," he added.

On Monday, AFP reported Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh as saying that "The (Hamas) government will allow all Fatah members who are from Gaza and who left the Strip (in 2007) to return, without any preconditions," apart from those accused of killing Hamas members during intense factional fighting that year.

The division between the two Palestinian factions began in 2006, when Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections.

In the following year, clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of parts of the occupied West Bank.

The groups have made failed attempts at national reconciliation for years, most recently in 2012, when they signed two agreements -- one in Cairo and a subsequent one in Doha -- which have as of yet been entirely unimplemented.
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1 ) Outlier / USA
08/01/2014 19:31
A terrible idea, unless fundamental changes to Hamas' charter are made.

2 ) Greg / UKR
08/01/2014 20:04
Hamas or any other terrorist organization must not be allowed to participate in any elections. Elections are for political parties who resolve their differences via ballot box, but not for terrorist organization which bombing malls and launching anti-tank missiles into school buses. Unless Hamas disarm and renounce violence there is no room for them in politics. If Abbas allows Hamas participate as is, Abbas, PA and Fatah should be shut down by Israel and US. And they will be, for sure.

3 ) Anwar Abd Al Salem / Qatar
08/01/2014 23:41
This is a positive step, which will hopefully bring the two sides nearer to a reconciliation. PM Haniyeh & Hamas are right to request time to consider the proposals, as it is early days & there is room for discussion & exchanging of views. When a point of trust has been reached, they can seriously think about elections. Hamas is a resistance movement, it needs an incentive to disarm, Palestine is still occupied. Hamas can however maintain the truce with Israel & work towards disarming in time.

4 ) Simcha Aliyah / U.S A.
09/01/2014 01:54
Bad idea. Fatah,PA now Hammas?! What next? Hisbullah? Al Quds? Bad, bad idea.

5 ) Rami / Palestine
09/01/2014 11:07
Yeah, keep proposing. We're waiting for it to ACTUALLY HAPPEN.

6 ) Mutasim / Gaza, Ps
09/01/2014 17:32
GOOD NEWS! - Now US/Isreal & western allies will see what Palestinians are made of. Mr Kerry no doubt knows he is ona failing mission anyway, with IDF trying to provoke Gaza to hostilities & settlements & land grabs on the Israelis minds.

7 ) Carl / America
09/01/2014 17:46
Anything's better than the status quo.

8 ) Reconciliation and Unity / Now
09/01/2014 20:28
Israel cultivated Hamas in the 80's to try to fracture the PLO. Now it whines about Hamas success. Time for the Ramallah "hang-around-the-fort-Indians" to bring real national unity and confront the genocide machine head on.

9 ) Good news / When?
21/01/2014 06:14
More fruitful than negotiating with an occupier But will it take 7 years to implement ?
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