Hamas says it would join unity government

Feb. 21, 2011 at 12:19 PM

GAZA, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Hamas said Monday it is open to apparent overtures from Fatah for a Palestinian unity government.

Salah Al-Bardawil, a Hamas leader in Gaza, told the Palestinian news agency Ma'an there has been no "official initiative" from the Fatah leadership on the West Bank, but the Islamic movement seeks reconciliation.

Fatah leader Nabil Shaath said Sunday, "We could shortly form a unity government which includes Hamas."

"We shouldn't miss this looming opportunity," he said, adding that he planned to visit Gaza.

Al-Bardawil called for a "comprehensive solution, which begins with the PLO and ends in forming a government through fair elections."

Ayman Daraghma, a Hamas leader in the West Bank, said Fatah had rebuffed previous unity initiatives.

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has been asked to form a Cabinet to take the Palestinian Authority into elections called for September. Leftist groups have said they will not join a unity government.

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