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Hamas, Fatah agree to implement unity agreements
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
18/01/2013
Representatives of two factions set end of January as target to form a Palestinian unity government.
 
Hamas and Fatah agreed Thursday to implement, by the end of this month, previous reconciliation agreements signed between the two parties.

The new agreement was reached during talks between representatives of the two sides in Cairo.

Azzam al-Ahmed, head of the Fatah delegation to the talks, announced that the two parties agreed, among other things, to launch consultations over the formation of a Palestinian unity government, with the hope of reaching agreement within the next two weeks.

The most recent reconciliation agreement, which was signed in Doha, Qatar, envisages the establishment of a unity government headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas and Fatah also agreed that the Palestinian Central Elections Commission would resume the registration of voters in the Gaza Strip – a process that had been halted by Hamas several months ago. Hamas accused the commission of being biased in favor of Fatah.

The commission is expected to resume its work in the Gaza Strip before the end of the month, Ahmed said.

The two parties also agreed to resume the work of joint committees entrusted with discussing the release of prisoners from both sides and ending mutual attacks in the media, he added.

The Egyptians will head a committee consisting of Hamas and Fatah representatives and whose task will be to ensure the implementation of the new-old agreements.

Izzat al-Rishek, head of the Hamas delegation, said the Cairo talks were held in a “positive” atmosphere.

Abdullah Abdullah, a top Fatah official in the West Bank, welcomed the latest agreement, saying his faction was prepared to implement it immediately in order to achieve national unity.
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