Hamas agrees to dissolve governing body in Gaza

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks during a media conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris. The Hamas militant group on Sunday Sept. 7 2017 said it has accepted key conditions dem

Hamas paves way for Palestinian elections as it signals readiness to end Fatah feud

The Palestinian movement of Hamas said it chose to dissolve its administrative committee and expressed readiness to launch talks with the Fatah movement, Hamas said in a statement.

A key sticking point in the past was Hamas's refusal to place its security forces in Gaza under the control of the unity government led by Mr Abbas.

Hamas said it had also agreed to hold general elections in order to end the decade-long split.

Fatah, meanwhile, said on Sunday that it welcomed the pledge by its rival Hamas to accept key conditions for reconciliation.

The group said it 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".

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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.

The takeover led to rival governments, with Hamas in charge of Gaza and President Abbas controlling autonomous pockets of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

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, who are on the United Nations terrorist list, have controlled the Gaza Strip and the West Bank since 2007.

"The administrative committee is now dissolved, and the government can come to Gaza today to assume its responsibilities and duties", he said.

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However, he wondered if "Hamas committee is the only obstacle for reaching full reconciliation and ending internal division", saying that he is "personally consciously optimistic", because there are many questions that need answers.

The last election held by the administrative committee in Gaza was in 2006, when Hamas achieved a surprising victory leading to the political rift between Ramallah and the Gaza Strip.

"If the news is correct, that is good and positive", Fatah Vice Chairman Mahmoud al-Aloul said in a statement posted on Fatah's official Facebook page.

Hamas is also under further pressure from an aggressive policy from Abbas, who governs in the West Bank, and who in June asked Israel to substantially cut its electricity supply to Gaza's 2 million residents.

Chief of the Hamas terror group in Gaza Yahya Sinwar (C-L) visits the border with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on July 6, 2017.

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