Hamas Leader Says Unity Abbas’ Only Option


Deputy parliament speaker Ahmad Bahar on Friday said implementing national unity was the only option left for President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.

After two decades of failed negotiations with Israel, Abbas has exhausted all other avenues, the Hamas leader said in a statement.

Bahar said reconciliation with Hamas would correct the historic mistakes of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, which he said included the Oslo Accords and the government’s reliance on US aid.

Abbas’ frequent references to the urgent need for national unity are positive, Bahar said, but words must be converted into action.

After years of hostility, Hamas and Fatah signed a landmark reconciliation agreement in Cairo in May to end the division of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which have been under separate governments since 2007.

Factions agreed to form a unity government of technocrats to oversee elections, but the deal has yet to be implemented.

Bahar said it was up to Abbas to choose unity as Hamas was ready for reconciliation.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar also said Friday that his movement was ready to implement the reconciliation deal, speaking at a festival for released prisoners in Gaza City.

“Stop playing and wasting time,” Zahhar said, addressing both sides.


Launched in 2005, Ma'an News Agency (MNA) publishes news around the clock in Arabic and English, and is among the most browsed websites in the Palestinian territories, with over 3 million visits per month.

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