Report: Hamas and Fatah 'Agree on Unity'
Terror movement Hamas has reportedly notified Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the rival Fatah terror organization, of its decision to join a national unity government which will prepare for upcoming presidential and parliamentarian elections.
The report is carried by the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency on Tuesday, which cites “sources, allegedly privy to the details.”
The sources said that Abbas had previously received two phone calls from Hamas' chief Khalid Mashaal and from the head of the Hamas-run government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh. The two allegedly confirmed to Abbas that Hamas had agreed to join a national unity government with Fatah.
The sources pointed out that Hamas requested that the national unity government serve for six months instead of the three years agreed upon in the 2012 Doha Agreement, one of numerous attempts at reconciliation between the rival factions.
Abbas might ask current Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah to lead the unity government, sources told Ma'an, adding that Abbas will issue the required presidential decrees after attending a meeting of Arab countries' foreign ministers scheduled for December 21.
Mashaal's telephone call to Abbas this past weekend, a rare event, was reported by the official PA news agency Wafa. "Mashaal telephoned president Abbas to thank him for his efforts at different levels, particularly sending aid to the Gaza Strip," the agency said, referring to the support sent by the PA to Gaza as it recovers following the major winter storm in recent days.
The Fatah-controlled PA rules the Arab-occupied territory in the mountainous Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. Hamas rebelled violently in 2007 against Fatah's rule in Arab-occupied Gaza, and has controlled that area ever since.
There have been countless reports of imminent Fatah-Hamas reconciliation over the years and numerous attempts to get the organizations to work together, but they all ended badly, so this latest report should be taken with a grain of salt.