<I>Asharq Alawsat</i>: Hamas ready to talk with Abbas

Hamas is considering taking initial steps to reach an agreement with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and as part of such a deal, promised to withdraw from all military posts and civilian establishments the group took over when it seized control of the Gaza Strip in June, Israel Radio reported on Sunday morning. According to a report in the pan-Arabic daily Asharq Alawsat, Palestinian civilians were behind the move which detailed the eventual creation of a unified technocratic government which will work to bring about reforms to the PA. This government would also be responsible for preparations ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections in the Palestinian-controlled territories, said the report.