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‘Reconciliation is not a mix of interests,’ says Hamas official

A senior Hamas official in Gaza said on Friday that internal reconciliation “is not a mix of interests”; rather it is, insisted Mahmoud Al-Zahar, coexistence between different programmes, PalSawa has reported.

He made his comments during the Friday sermon at Al-Mahata Mosque in Gaza City. “We agree [with Fatah] to reform the government without Hamas,” he told worshippers. “However, this government’s task was to improve electricity and rebuild the Gaza Strip. Nothing of this has been done.”

The latest reconciliation deal was signed last year in the house of the leader of Hamas in Gaza, former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. The Islamic movement accepted that it would not be part of any government on condition that the authority led from Ramallah improved the situation of the Palestinians in Gaza and prepared for elections.

“The Palestinian Authority and the new government agreed to prepare for general elections,” explained Al-Zahar, “but they did nothing about this issue.”

This was because if an election was held tomorrow, he suggested, the PA and Fatah know that they would lose. “Our people would weigh up the political programme of those who expelled the occupation from Gaza with the programme based on security cooperation with the Israelis which has led to the Palestinians losing more than 60 per cent of the West Bank.”

The senior member of the Hamas political bureau criminalised security cooperation, considering it not a political stance, but a “religious sin”. He reiterated that the outcome of security cooperation in the occupied West Bank is “nothing but losing more Palestinian rights.”

Al-Zahar stressed that his movement does not plan to have a state established in Gaza. It is, he said, planning to have a state on all of Palestine.

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