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Hamas denies achieving breakthrough in reconciliation file

Hamas spokesperson Salah Al-Bardaweel has ruled out achieving any immediate breakthrough in efforts at national dialogue. He stressed that no reconciliation could be reached in light of the "absurd" negotiations between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Israeli occupation.


Al-Bardaweel's remarks came after information was circulated by news agencies that Hamas had informed PA President Mahmoud Abbas about its willingness to form a national unity government ahead of general elections.

"These false remarks," he explained, "hint that Hamas had been refusing the formation of a national unity government but then accepted only because of the severe crises that has resulted from the siege." He asserted, "This is not right."

The senior Hamas leader reiterated that his movement has never stopped calling for Abbas to form a national unity government. "Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya himself called Abbas in October to form a government," he said, "but his call was received by deaf ears."

Regarding the phone conversation between Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khalid Meshaal and Abbas, which took place earlier this week, Al-Bardaweel said: "Nothing tangible resulted from it."

He said that Meshaal had warned Abbas of going too deeply into the "absurd" negotiations with the Israelis. He also called for him to lift the siege imposed on Gaza and to facilitate fuel imports.

Al-Bardaweel asserted that his movement believes that "negotiations with the Israelis are absurd and will lead to liquidating the Palestinian issue."

Concluding his remarks, he said that Abbas suggested that he has "flexibility" to go ahead with the national dialogue.

But Al-Bardaweel questioned whether Abbas would be "able to fulfil his hopes while he is restricted by a limited timetable for the negotiations with the Israeli occupation?" He expressed his doubts, saying: "In the meantime, he is not permitted to talk about the reconciliation."

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