AFP reports: The Hamas premier of Gaza, Ismail Haniya, praised steps toward reconciliation taken by the Islamist group and its former rival Fatah, which were angrily denounced in Israel.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal took steps in Cairo on Thursday towards reforming the Fatah-dominated Palestine Liberation Organisation, such that Hamas could join.
“We want to pursue positive dialogue with Fatah from this point”, Haniya told journalists.
“Practical measures must however be taken, like the liberation of political prisoners from Hamas detained by Fatah,” he said, adding that Fatah must also stop its repeated questioning of Hamas supporters during investigations.
The reconciliation moves drew an angry response from Israel, with one minister saying the Jewish state must now annex more territory to ensure the safety of its citizens in case “terrorist” Hamas gains influence in the West Bank.
“This alarming rapprochement between Abu Mazen (Abbas) and Hamas is aimed at forming a government that one can only say is aimed at bringing about a genocide,” Transport Minister Israel Katz of the right-wing Likud party said.