Hamas invites Palestinian Authority to control Gaza 'unimpeded'

By Ray Downs  |  Sept. 19, 2017 at 10:31 PM
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Sept. 19 (UPI) -- The chief of Hamas' Political Bureau said Tuesday that the group is ready to receive the Palestinian Unity Government in Gaza.

"To show Hamas' seriousness to bring about reconciliation, we invite the unity government to come and assume its duties in Gaza unimpeded," Ismail Haniyeh told reporters during a press conference in the Gaza Strip, according to the Middle East Monitor.

He added: "We have opened the door wide before [Fatah's] decision-makers to take courageous decisions to unite the Palestinian people as our cause faces huge challenges. We are keen to end the siege on Gaza and we have exerted much effort to do this through the gate of the reconciliation."

The announcement is a reiteration of Hamas' decision on Sunday to dissolve its governing body in the Gaza Strip to give the Palestinian Authority full governmental control in Gaza.

Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, but recently agreed to demands set by Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, to hold elections, which haven't occurred since 2007.

Mahdi Abdul Hadi, director of Passia, an East Jerusalem think tank, told the New York Times that Haniyeh and Yehya Sinwar, Gaza's new prime minister, are eager to work with Abbas and Fatah, the controlling party in the Palestinian Authority.

"Lift the siege, let people breathe," Abdul Hadi said. "Electricity, water, salaries, medical -- instead of explosion."

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