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Hamas agrees to hand over Gaza to Abbas government

IANS | Gaza |

The Hamas movement, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007, announced on Sunday that it was ready to hand over the territory to the consensus government of Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas announced the dissolution of the administrative committee created in March 2016 to manage the territory and invited the consensus government led by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to arrive in the Gaza Strip to carry out the mission, an official statement said.

Hamas also agreed to an election, which has failed to take place in Gaza since 2006 as a result of the division between Fatah and Hamas, reports Efe news.

It also expressed its willingness to accept Egypt’s offer for talks with Fatah in order to implement the Cairo Agreement, signed in 2011, that lays down guidelines for reconciliation.

The agreement, signed by the 11 Palestinian factions but which was never implemented, required the administrative power be run by the Palestine National Authority (PNA), although Hamas would likely retain control of security and policing in the Gaza Strip.

Other points included the establishment of joint monitoring of border posts and the absorption of Hamas security personnel into the new police force that is to be formed.

The latest announcement by Hamas puts Palestine on the path of reconciliation, with the statement announcing the group was “responding to the generous Egyptian efforts, which reflect the Egyptian desire to end the split and achieve reconciliation, and based on our desire to achieve national unity”.