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Senior Hamas official denies dispute over Abbas' presidency of unity government

The Deputy Head of the Hamas political bureau, Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, has denied any dispute over Mahmoud Abbas's presidency of the next, unified Palestinian government. He added that having Abbas in that role would not be inconsistent with the reconciliation agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah in Cairo.

Speaking to Palestine TV, Dr. Abu Marzouk said, "We have agreed that the next government will be headed by President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas], but the process of its formation and the selection of its members would be based on consultation, because we all want a government that supports and strengthens the reconciliation portfolio."


He pointed out that everyone wants a government that works on the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and implements all the issues that were agreed upon between Fatah and Hamas.

Commenting on the Israeli election, Abu Marzouk said that more extreme blocs and parties will result. "We have to face them together," he added, "but I expect that the political agreement process will face major problems after the formation of the next Zionist government." He refused to accept that the Palestinians' options would be limited to negotiations alone.

The Hamas official attributed the delays in the Islamic Resistance Movement's own leadership election to "technical issues". Claims that internal disputes are responsible are, he insisted, "just rumours".

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