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Tags: hamas | fatah | palestinians | west bank | gaza

Hamas Says Unity Government With Fatah Is Finished

Monday, 01 December 2014 12:41 PM EST

The tenuous Palestinian unity government of Hamas and Fatah has officially expired after just six months, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported, citing a Hamas official.

The expiration of the deal, which had united the ruling parties in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, was announced Sunday by Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri during a news conference in Gaza City.

Zuhri noted that the leaders of both factions, which are listed as terror groups by the United States, will have to meet in coming weeks to possibly hammer out a new national agreement, the agency said.

However, just hours later, a Fatah official said that an expiration date was never set in stone, leaving the possibility that the unity government had not yet been disbanded, reports The Washington Free Beacon.

"If the Hamas movement has retracted the reconciliation agreement and the termination of rivalry, that is a different case," Fatah official Faisal Abu Shahla was quoted as telling Ma'an after Hamas' announcement.

Shahla said that "reconciliation discussions were pending a response from Hamas regarding the attacks with explosives against Fatah leaders' property in Gaza and the cancellation of a ceremony commemorating the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Gaza City."

The conflicting reports surfaced as the tension in Jerusalem remained high after a series of violent protests by Palestinians, which have been endorsed by Fatah leaders.

Zuhri made a point of saying during his press conference that Hamas "isn't interested in incitement but rather seeks to maintain national unity."

Saying that Hamas "does not control the Gaza Strip at all," he added, "If the national consensus government doesn't want to take responsibility for Gaza, this doesn't mean the government is exempted from this responsibility."

Zuhri also blasted the Palestinian Authority for making several politically motivated arrests, including the arrest of 80 Hamas supporters in the West Bank.

"Hamas denounces the escalating violations and criminal acts by the PA security services against supporters of Hamas and the Palestinian resistance," he added, while calling on President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to end the detention campaign, the news agency reported.

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The tenuous Palestinian unity government of Hamas and Fatah has officially expired after just six months, a Hamas official said, the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported.
hamas, fatah, palestinians, west bank, gaza
Monday, 01 December 2014 12:41 PM
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