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Hamas: National Consensus Government has taken over in Gaza

Oct. 6, 2017 3:51 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 9, 2017 2:20 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas movement said in a statement to Ma’an on Thursday that the Palestinian National Consensus Government had officially taken over from the Hamas movement as the administrative authority in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Spokesperson of the movement Abd al-Latif al-Qanou told Ma’an that Hamas was “supporting the consensus government” and looking to enhance its role in the coastal enclave, which has been under Hamas’ de facto rule since 2007.

Fatah, the leading party of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Hamas have been embroiled in conflict since Hamas' election victory in legislative elections in 2006, sparking a violent conflict between the two movements, with Hamas consolidating its control over the territory a year later.

After 2007, Hamas started to issue its own legislation for the Gaza Strip and ruled through the caretaker government. A National Consensus Government formed in June 2014, tasked with preparing for the legislative and presidential elections that never materialized.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told the cabinet, which had convened for the first time in three years in Gaza City on Tuesday, that his government is going to assume full responsibility of all sectors of life in Gaza “in full cooperation and partnership with all the Palestinian factions and forces.”

Al-Qanou told Ma’an that that the Hamas movement “will always cooperate” with the consensus government, and that the movement “is ready and willing to provide facilitations to end unsolved issues.”

Meanwhile, official PA-owned Wafa news agency reported that President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that national unity will continue to be a primary goal for the Palestinian leadership, and that “without it there will not be a Palestinian state.”

Abbas went on to discuss next week’s meetings between the movements in Cairo, saying that the meetings will “lay the foundations and go into the specific details for the government takeover of power and the next steps. This requires effort, hard work and good intentions, and we hope that everyone will have these intentions.”

Despite multiple attempts over the years aimed at reconciling the groups, Palestinian leadership has repeatedly failed to follow through on promises of reconciliation and holding of long-overdue elections, as both movements have frequently blamed each other for numerous political failures.
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