Hamas signals readiness to end Fatah feud and hold Palestinian elections

Hamas says it is willing to dissolve its Gaza administration, 10 years after it fought a bloody war with Fatah. Hamas has agreed to hold talks with the rival Fatah movement, dissolve the Gaza administrative committee and hold general elections, in a deal to end their long-running feud in the Palestinian territories, the group has said in a statement.

The last Palestinian legislative election was held in 2006, when Hamas won a surprise victory that laid the ground for a political rupture. The group fought a short civil war with the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip in 2007, and since then Hamas has governed the territory.

Numerous attempts since 2011 to reconcile the two movements and form a power-sharing unity government in Gaza and the West Bank have failed. They agreed to form a national reconciliation government in 2014, but Hamas’s shadow government has continued to rule Gaza.

A senior Fatah leader, Mahmoud Aloul, welcomed the pledge on Sunday but told Voice of Palestine radio: “We want to see that happening on the ground before we move to the next step.”

Hamas said in its statement that it agreed to dissolve the administration running Gaza, allow the reconciliation government to carry out its duties in the territory, to hold elections and enter into talks with Fatah.

Egypt has been brokering talks with Fatah to implement a deal signed in Cairo with Hamas in 2013 to end the dispute and form an interim government before elections.

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