Hamas calls for emergency meeting of Palestinian factions

January 4th, 2009 - 10:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Cairo, Jan 4 (DPA) A spokesman for the militant Islamist Hamas movement Sunday called for an emergency meeting to present a united Palestinian front in the face of the Israeli ground offensive launched against the Gaza Strip Saturday evening.Mohammed Nazal, a spokesman for Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said on Arabic satellite channel al-Arabiya that “all national powers” should come together to meet, to decide on a united course of action, in the face of the Israeli offensive.

Meanwhile, a representative of the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Sunday urged the Palestinians to rally round the president “to show the world that in these difficult hours we are standing together”.

Barakat al-Fara said in a press conference in Cairo that Israel was conducting a “criminal war”.

Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia have, since the take-over of the Gaza Strip by Hamas in June 2007, attempted to forge reconciliation between the two factions. An Egyptian brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel ended Dec 19, prompting the current round of violence.

Israeli troops began a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip late Saturday, following more than a week of aerial bombardment.

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