Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hamas official: Abbas comments on unity 'positive'

Palestinians attend a rally calling for a reconciliation between the
rival Palestinian leading factions Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West
Bank, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, March 15, 2011.
(MaanImages/Luay Sababa)

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouq on Wednesday gave a guarded welcome to President Mahmoud Abbas's stated commitment to unity talks between his Fatah party and rival faction Hamas.

Marzouq, deputy head of the Hamas politburo, said Abbas's remarks supporting a push forward in dialogue between the sides showed that previous talks were simply to "consume time."

Hamas and Fatah have been engaged for months in largely fruitless negotiations over the implementation of a reconciliation deal signed in Cairo on May 4, which aimed to end four years of division between the parties which had split the Gaza and West Bank administrations.

However, Marzouq said Abbas's comments also had positive implications, as tackling "internal conditions through responsible dialogue" was the best option for Palestine's future, a statement from the leader said.

"Unity of the people is an indispensable matter to confront (our opponents) and is a precondition for victory in any confrontation," the senior Hamas official added.

Hamas and Fatah officials had met recently in the West Bank town of Nablus to prepare for upcoming dialogue on the reconciliation agreement in Cairo.

In the past week, Abbas and Prime Minister in the Hamas-led government in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh have both called for strategic dialogue on securing Palestinian statehood.

Hamas, which is not a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization which represents Palestinians at the UN, did not approve of the president's Friday application for UN membership of a Palestinian state.

However the party has been careful not to strongly denounce the bid, and expressed its support for Palestinian statehood on fair terms for all Palestinians.

Maan News Agency