Fatah welcomes Hamas’ call for dialogueApril 27th, 2008 - 8:19 pm ICT by admin
Ramallah, April 27 (Xinhua) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Sunday welcomed Hamas’ call for national dialogue, but stuck to its precondition that Hamas first give up its occupation of the Gaza Strip. The national dialogue call by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal “reflects all Palestinian factions’ realization of the importance of a national dialogue,” said Fatah official Mohammed al- Horrani.
But the exiled Hamas leader’s call requires “an initial readiness to step back from what happened in the Gaza Strip in June,” said al-Horrani, referring to Hamas’ violent takeover of the strip from Abbas’ forces.
In an interview with the Qatar-based pan-Arab Al-Jazeera channel, Mashaal said he was ready to meet Abbas at any time in any place.
Mashaal made the call as Hamas set to accept a ceasefire deal with Israel in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Egypt, which mediates between the two sides, is expected to receive Israel’s final response to the ceasefire offers in the coming days.
Following fierce fighting in June last year, Hamas drove security forces loyal to President Abbas out of Gaza. Abbas, in response, fired the Hamas-led unity government and formed a Western-backed administration ruling from the West Bank.
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