World Bulletin / News Desk
Within the context of its new initiative, Hamas has voiced its readiness to dissolve an “administrative committee” it established in March tasked with coordinating between Gaza’s public institutions.
Since the committee’s establishment, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) of President Mahmoud Abbas, led by rival Palestinian faction Fatah (which is also headed by Abbas), has repeatedly called for its dissolution.
In a Wednesday statement, Salah al-Bardawil, a member of Hamas’s influential political bureau, promised that -- within the context of the new initiative -- the administrative committee “would end its emergency mission in Gaza immediately after the [Fatah-led] unity government assumes its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip”.
Al-Bardawil went on to explain that Hamas’s renewed push for inter-Palestinian rapprochement had come in response “to the voices of the Palestinian masses who revolted in Jerusalem and won the Battle of the Al-Aqsa Gates”.
In mid-July, Israel imposed a raft of draconian security measures in and around East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque complex after two Israeli police officers were killed in the area, allegedly by Palestinian attackers.
Palestinians responded to the measures by staging demonstrations throughout the Palestinian territories and refusing to enter the mosque complex in Jerusalem.
For 15 days, Palestinian Muslims prayed en masse outside the gates of the holy site in a move that drew widespread media attention.
Embarrassed by the wave of peaceful protests and facing mounting international criticism, Israel cancelled the security measures last Friday in a move hailed by Palestinians as a rare victory.
Hamas, for its part, seized the opportunity posed by the rare show of Palestinian national unity to launch a fresh effort to mend fences with Fatah and forge a unified front against Israel’s decades-long occupation.
“Hamas extends its hand [to Fatah] with a view to achieving Palestinian reconciliation on a clear and robust basis,” al-Bardawil said.
He also called on the Ramallah-based government to reverse “all measures imposed against Gaza since the administrative committee’s establishment” in March.
In April, Abbas vowed to take “unprecedented steps” in regards to the Gaza Strip, which has been governed by Hamas since 2007, when the resistance group wrested it from Fatah after several days of street fighting.
In recent months, Abbas appears to have made good on his threat, with the Ramallah government cutting the salaries of all PA employees based in Gaza by some 30 percent.
The Ramallah-based PA has also reduced the amount it pays Israel for the provision of roughly 10 percent of Gaza’s electricity needs, exacerbating the coastal strip’s already-chronic energy shortfall.
In hopes of averting further escalations and presenting Israel -- its primary foe -- with a united Palestinian front, al-Bardawil voiced Hamas’s desire for the resumption of Palestinian national dialogue with a view to forming a bona fide government of national unity.
He concluded by calling on Palestine’s myriad political groups to agree on dates for holding legislative, presidential and Palestinian National Council elections.
In 2014, Hamas and Fatah -- which govern the blockaded Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank respectively -- agreed in principle to establish a national unity government.
The so-called “unity government” later set up in Ramallah, however, has largely failed to assume any governing role in Gaza due to outstanding ideological differences between the two factions.
Mexico rejects claim, calling it 'manifestly false'
Supporters not deterred by president’s antics, performance
Republican leadership eyes Thursday vote on stopgap bill, but passage is uncertain without Democratic support
The head of the Venezuelan Supreme Court and the chief of the intelligence agency are also blacklisted, diplomatic sources said, making them subject to asset freezes and travel bans.
Army frequently carries out sweeping arrest campaigns in occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem
Icy roads contribute to at least 4 fatalities, fifth death attributed to exposure
Border patrol also harasses and uses violence against volunteers, who provide aid, reports say
Pentagon and U.S.-led coalition contradicted with each other on function of PYD/PKK-led SDF forces in Syria
Lee, a naturalized US citizen also known as Zhen Cheng Li, was arrested late Monday after he arrived at JFK International Airport in New York.
Israeli forces first detained al-Tamimi on Dec. 19 during an overnight raid
If France recognizes Palestine as a state, more countries will follow it, says Luxembourg FM
U.S. said Tuesday it was suspending a total of $65 million in aid to Palestine
Reason for crash not yet known, defense minister says
Electoral coalitions in Iraq are often formed based on sectarian and ethnic lines
Al-Aqsa officials are warned not to carry out any renovation work at flashpoint holy site, local official says