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Hamas Considers Dissolving Administrative Committee as Part of Deal with Fatah | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Azzam al-Ahmad / Moussa Abu Marzouk (Asharq al-Awsat)

Ramallah- Fatah stated that it will need further clarifications regarding Hamas’ latest statements on ending the division between the two movements.

At a press conference in Ramallah, Fatah spokesman Nasser al-Qudwa said that it is imperative to hold an effective and honest dialogue to reach the desired outcomes.

Qudwa determined the movement’s three demands to end the separation, saying Hamas must truly accept those fair requests.

The three demands include dissolving the administrative committee formed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, enabling the Palestinian consensual government to function in the territory and commit to holding legislative and presidential elections.

Qudwa also praised efforts exerted by Egypt to end division between the two movements and restore national unity.

A Fatah delegation will arrive in Cairo on Friday or Saturday and is scheduled to meet with Egyptian officials following talks with Hamas members, which were described as positive.

Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad announced that there will be no meetings or dialogues until Hamas announces the dissolution of its governing body in the Gaza Strip and enable the Palestinian Authority government to assume responsibility in its place.

He added that Hamas must approve to holding legislative and presidential polls.

Ahmad reiterated that while Fatah considers Hamas’ statements “positive,” it wants the organization to dissolve its governing body in Gaza rather than merely announce its readiness to do so.

Qudwa and Ahmad’s statements confirm Fatah’s commitment to the roadmap set by President Mahmoud Abbas to end the division.

A Fatah source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the movement wasn’t informed about any Egyptian initiative and would like to listen what Cairo has to suggest and then decide.

He added that Fatah’s stance is known and hasn’t change, elaborating that the solution is simple and that Hamas must comply in order to proceed with the Egypt-backed dialogue.

A Fatah delegation will arrive in Egypt shortly after the Hamas delegation led by head of political bureau Ismail Haniyah held several meetings in Cairo.

Following its meetings, Hamas announced it was ready to comply with the three conditions given that an expanded conference for Palestinian factions be held in Cairo to form a national unity government.

Fatah Member Ahmad was doubtful about Hamas’ statement. However, Hamas sources informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the movement is somehow angered by Ahmad’s position adding that it had informed Egyptian officials about its readiness to meet the agreement immediately and had asked for guarantees in return. 

Yet, Hamas source rejected Fatah’s condition to dismantle the committee prior to the dialogue and stated that Hamas is willing to do that after agreeing with Fatah and not before. He added that Abbas must end his measures against Gaza.

Few months ago, Abbas began a series of procedures against the Gaza strip including taxation and public servants salary cuts.

Egypt’s intervention to end the separation is considered the strongest in years.

Haaretz recently mentioned that Russia is also pressuring to reconcile Hamas and Fatah. The newspaper stated that only two days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that reconciliation must be achieved, Hamas announced it was prepared to dissolve the committee.

The newspaper added that if Russia can bring about such a reconciliation, it will achieve a double victory. It will be seen as the only country capable of solving disputes in the region, especially given its recent “success” in Syria and it will have made an important declarative contribution to blocking Iranian influence.

A Hamas delegation led by Moussa Abu Marzouk is expected to visit Moscow in the coming days.

Marzouk met with Russian Ambassador to Egypt Sergei Kirpichenkov and discussed recent political developments concerning the reconciliation, according to Hamas’ statement.

Kirpichenkov welcomed Hamas’ visit to Russia and reiterated his country’s full support to the just Palestinian cause and the importance of national unity among Palestinian powers.