Hamas Pledges to Hold Elections, Dissolve Administrative Committee

Hamas and Fatah leaders at previous talks to end their ongoing conflict. (Photo: via Twitter)

Hamas has pledged to dissolve its administrative committee that runs the besieged coastal enclave and expressed readiness to hold general elections, in a bid for reconciliation with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA).

A statement from Hamas movement said the decision came in response to recent diplomatic efforts by Egypt to reconcile the rival factions, while PA President Mahmoud Abbas has been calling on Hamas to end the administrative committee, relinquish control of the small territory to the PA, and hold presidential and legislative elections.

The Hamas movement said Sunday it has dissolved its administrative committee – formed earlier this year to the outrage of the PA, agrees to hold general elections for the first time since 2006, enter talks with Fatah, and allow the national reconciliation government to operate in Gaza.

In recent months, the PA has been also been accused of deliberately sending the impoverished Gaza Strip further into a humanitarian catastrophe – by slashing funding for Israeli fuel, medicine, and salaries for civil servants and former prisoners – in order to wrest control of the territory from Hamas.

Hamas leadership told the Egyptians they would allow the Palestinian national reconciliation government to take charge of Gaza and carry out elections, so long as all Palestinian factions hold a conference in Cairo afterwards to elect a national government responsible for the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.

An Egyptian source close to the intelligence services told Israeli news daily Haaretz that Hamas is trying to prove to Egypt that it is not obstructing reconciliation and is responding to demands, hoping to reap the benefits if and when the talks falter on the PA’s part.

Hamas has sought to improve relations with Cairo in recent months by increasing cross border security, including the construction of the military buffer zone, in hopes that Egypt will ease its enforcement of Israel’s brutal, decade-long siege of the territory and open up the Rafah border crossing.

(Maan, PC, Social Media)

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