Hamas agrees to steps towards Palestinian unity


Hamas has agreed to talks with the rival Fatah movement and expressed its willingness to hold general elections in the Palestinian territories.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Hamas said it has accepted key conditions set by President Mahmoud Abbas, and dissolved the Gaza administrative committee, a body viewed by Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) as a parallel government.

Hamas has run Gaza since 2007, when it forced troops loyal to Abbas from the coastal enclave a year after defeating his Fatah movement in parliamentary elections.

Since then, the Palestinian leadership has been divided between two rival governments, with Hamas controlling Gaza and Abbas in charge of autonomous enclaves in the Israelioccupied West Bank.

Repeated attempts at reconciliation between the two factions have failed in the past.