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Hamas to allow return of Fatah members to push reconciliation

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said on Monday that his government will allow 120 Fatah members to return to the Gaza Strip in order to push the reconciliation process forward.

“The reconciliation file is moving forward in the presence of the convergence of wills, in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,” said Mr Haniyeh in a statement. “This is to aid reconciliation and putting an end to the political division.”

The prime minister added that the arrangements need to be such that Hamas and Fatah can complete the reconciliation process “in the right way”, noting that the government’s actions are evidence of its intentions in this respect. “We will not retreat from achieving this,” he insisted.

He pointed out the need to proceed with reconciliation in parallel to the student and trade union elections and the re-formation of the municipal councils by a national consensus as a transitional phase. “Communal and political reconciliation is essential,” said Mr Haniyeh, “and the two should coincide to form a government, policies and a single political system.”

Stressing the importance of achieving reconciliation as part of a national programme to protect the Palestinian national constants, the prime minister added that they should retain the option of resistance in all its forms to Israel’s occupation.

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