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On Gaza return, Hamas leader reiterates call for reconciliation

20 Septembre 2017

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.

Following Egyptian-mediated reconciliation talks with Abbas's Western-backed Fatah faction, Islamist Hamas said on Sunday it would dissolve its Gaza "administrative committee" to enable the president's administration to retake control.

Chief among the Egyptian-brokered concessions was dissolving the so-called administration committee, seen as a rival government to the Abbas-led administration in the West Bank.

"We are ready now to receive the national consensus government to enter the Gaza Strip".

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. On Monday Haniyeh spoke with Abbas for the first time in almost a year, and Fatah officials have said they expect prime minister Rami Hamdallah to visit Gaza in the coming days.

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Hamas is in financial and political distress after years of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade as well as recent economic pressure from Abbas.

The survey among 1,270 Palestinians was published Tuesday, a day ahead of a Trump-Abbas meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Blacklisted as a terrorist group by Israel and the West, Hamas won 2006 legislative elections and, after an uneasy alliance with Fatah, seized control of Gaza in a brief civil war the following year.

"I can say that this visit (to Cairo) has laid strategic foundations for the ties between Egypt and Hamas", Haniyeh said.

On Gaza return, Hamas leader reiterates call for reconciliation