World Bulletin / News Desk
The Palestinian movement Hamas has linked reconciliation with rival Fatah to ending security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
"We are ready to pay any price to achieve Palestinian reconciliation, but we need a cut and united position from the Palestinian Authority and an end to security coordination [with Israel]," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zurhi said on Thursday during a cultural event in Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip.
Abu Zuhri welcomed a planned visit by a special delegation from the Palestinian factions in the West Bank to the Gaza enclave to push reconciliation efforts forward.
Last week, a Fatah spokesman said the delegation would soon head to Gaza to discuss possible means of ending the years-long rift between the two main Palestinian movements.
Earlier this year Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said 2014 would be "the year of Palestinian reconciliation."
He said Fatah members who had fled the Gaza Strip in 2007 – when Hamas seized control of the coastal enclave – were welcome to return, except for those charged with wrongdoing.
In 2007, Hamas forces routed troops loyal to Fatah and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and seized control of the Gaza Strip.
In 2011, the two factions hammered out a reconciliation deal under Egyptian sponsorship.
The following year, the two sides agreed to form a unity government headed up by President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also Fatah's top leader, to pave the way for parliamentary polls.
The terms of the agreement, however, were never implemented.Last Mod: 11 Nisan 2014, 10:30