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Hamas ready to receive unity government in Gaza, says Haniyeh

Image of Ismail Haniyeh [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Image of Ismail Haniyeh [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Chief of Hamas' Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Tuesday evening that his movement is ready to receive the Palestinian Unity Government in Gaza.

In a press conference held immediately after returning to the Gaza Strip from Cairo, he said: "To show Hamas' seriousness to bring about reconciliation, we invite the unity government to come and assume its duties in Gaza unimpeded."

Haniyeh added: "We are awaiting the next step to be taken by the government in Ramallah – to end the punitive measures taken against the Gaza Strip in previous months."

The Hamas leader described his talks in Cairo regarding the reconciliation as "important and positive developments," noting that the Egyptian government was eager to end the internal Palestinian division.

Read: Hamas dissolves Gaza administration in Palestinian unity bid

"We have opened the door wide before [Fatah's] decision-makers to take courageous decisions to unite the Palestinian people as our cause faces huge challenges," Haniyeh said. "We are keen to end the siege on Gaza and we have exerted much effort to do this through the gate of the reconciliation."

Haniyeh thanked Egypt for its role and support for the Palestinian cause and in ending the internal Palestinian division.

"This visit had positive results," he said. "We discussed the stability of the Egyptian border with Gaza and stressed the importance of keeping them safe and secure because a strong Egypt is in Palestine's interest," he added.

At the same time, Haniyeh revealed that Hamas' leadership in Gaza had met with the leadership abroad in Cairo and reiterated that the entire leadership in Palestine and abroad is "united and stronger than ever, despite all the political changes."

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