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Haniyeh Says Hamas Ready to Hold Presidential, Legislative Polls | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh gestures during an interview with Reuters in Gaza City (Reuters)

Ramallah – Head of Hamas Polibureau Ismail Haniyeh called on Wednesday for forming a Palestinian national unity government and holding general elections across the Palestinian territories.

“Hamas is ready to participate in presidential and legislative elections,” Haniyeh said, in his first public speech following his election as Hamas leader in May.

He also underlined the necessity to draft a “clear and unified political program that is based on common denominators and on the goals, rights and aspirations of our people,” as well as forming a national unity government that “meets all its obligations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and its task is to prepare for the holding of legislative and presidential elections”.

Speaking before leaders from Hamas and other Palestinian factions, Haniyeh stressed the need to eliminate all punitive measures against Gaza and its people, and to “stop cooperation and security coordination with the Israeli enemy”.

The Hamas leader rejected demands by the Palestinian Authority to dissolve the administrative committee in Gaza, saying: “When the government assumes its responsibilities in Gaza Strip, there won’t be an excuse for the presence of the administrative committee; then, its role will end.”

He added that in the wake of measures taken by President Mahmoud Abbas against Hamas, the movement has resorted to Egypt “to save Gaza and provide elements for a decent life.”

He noted in this regard that Egyptian officials have issued instructions for a series of procedures to resolve the crises in the Hamas-led region.

“Our delegations’ visits to sisterly Egypt have confirmed this fact; we have found our Egyptian brothers all ready to deal with crises in Gaza,” Haniyeh stated.

Hamas has recently sought help from Cairo and was also is in contact with Mohammed Dahlan’s movement in Egypt.

Dahlan, who is based in the United Arab Emirates, has facilitated a deal to ship Egyptian fuel into Gaza to ease severe electricity cuts.

Haniyeh confirmed that along with Hamas-Egypt talks, meetings were held with Dahlan’s aides “that led to understandings that will reflect positively on our people in Gaza.”