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Hamas offers goodwill gestures to help reconciliation: official

01-15-2012 11:23 BJT

GAZA, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Hamas allowed the elections committee to operate in Gaza and gave up its control of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Gaza residence as goodwill gestures to encourage reconciliation, an official said Saturday.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya "presented the gesture to prove to our people that we take advanced steps toward the reconciliation," Khalil Al-Haya, a Hamas official, told a news conference in Gaza.

The official's remarks came following a meeting between officials from Hamas and Abbas' Fatah party, chaired by Haneya in Gaza city.

Zakaria Al-Agha, a Fatah official who took part in the meeting, said that the meeting was "kind" and the two sides discussed the work of joint committees that follow up the implementation of an Egypt-brokered agreement signed by the two rivals for reconciliation to end more than four years of split.

In preparation for declaring the reconciliation, the committees are working to settle politically-motivated arrests, achieving freedom of media, stopping mutual incitement and allowing some Hamas members to obtain passports issued in the West Bank by the Fatah-led Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

During the meeting, Haneya told Fatah representatives that they can take over Abbas' residence as a personal property where Abbas can do whatever he wants.

Hamas seized Abbas' house and dozens of PNA's institutions when it routed his forces and ousted Fatah after a week of street fighting in June 2007. Since then, Abbas has never visited Gaza.

According to the Egypt-brokered agreement, parliamentary and presidential elections will be held by May 2012. The Palestinian parties also agreed to expand the Palestine Liberation Organization and allow other factions like Hamas to join it.



Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: Xinhua

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