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Ready to hand over Gaza to Palestinian President: Hamas

Ready to hand over Gaza to Palestinian President: Hamas

Palestinian Islamist Hamas group said on Sunday it has dissolved its administration that runs Gaza and agrees to hold general elections in order to end a long-running feud with President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement.

Hamas also stated it would dismantle its administrative committee that now rules the Gaza Strip.

But Fatah said it still needed clarification from Hamas on the handing over of government ministries in Gaza and control of the enclave's border crossings with Israel and Egypt.

Fatah has welcomed the new pledges, but said it wants to see vows implemented before making the next move.

Al-Ahmed said the coming days will witness tangible practical steps starting with the national reconciliation government resuming its works in Gaza.

Ramallah, Sep. 17 (BNA): The Egyptian efforts to build bridges between the Palestinians, end divisions and achieve national unity were hailed. This latest effort comes at a time when Gaza's economy is a shambles, battered by an Israeli and Egyptian blockade, three wars with Israel, and Abbas's decision earlier this year to reduce funding for electricity in an effort to put additional pressure on Hamas.

Hamas officials have been in and out of Cairo frequently over recent months in an attempt to improve relations with Egypt, a country with which the Palestinian terror group has had a rocky relationship and is trying to strengthen ties.

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 Israeli-occupied West Bank.

In Sunday's statement, Hamas spoke of the "dissolution" of what is known as the administrative committee, which was seen as a rival government to Abbas's administration.

However, Bjorn was skeptical if Hamas's announcement on Sunday would lead to a full-fledged reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.

The Hamas announcement came following eight days of a dialogue in Cairo between senior Egyptian security intelligence officials and a senior Hamas delegation, headed by the top leaders of the movement, including Ismail Haneya, Hamas politburo chief.

The conflict between Hamas and Fatah escalated in 2007, leading to a split and Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip.

Punishing measures included reducing electricity payments for the Gaza strip and cutting salaries for civil servants there.

"Hamas has now made a courageous, serious and patriotic decision to dissolve the administrative committee (in Gaza)", Barhoum said.

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