Hamas calls for unity, end to internal Palestinian feuds

Gaza, June 15 (IANS) Islamic Hamas movement Saturday called for unity and ending the internal Palestinian feuds and division on the sixth anniversary for its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, reported Xinhua.

The Hamas movement, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since June 2007, said in a statement that six years had passed "while the world still imposes its unfair requirements on the movement," referring to international conditions that the militant group recognizes Israel and renounces violence if it wants to open to the world.

"Hamas reiterates that unity and reconciliation are strategic and the movement is looking forward to finalize it in order to devote more time to the conflict with the occupation," said the statement.

The statement blamed Israel on hindering any chance for Palestinian unity, saying that: "For six years, the crimes of the (Israeli) occupation against our people have been going on, and these crimes mount every time we are getting close to achieve unity and reconciliation."

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum slammed the security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, which is based in the West Bank.

"The policy of the security coordination with the occupation caused and would cause lots of harms to our just Palestinian cause," Barhoum said, adding "the Palestinians should exert more efforts to unite and resist the occupation."

Hamas won the last legislative elections held in the Palestinian territories in January 2006.

As it could not agree on a partnership with the mainstream Fatah party, headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, it routed pro-Abbas forces and ousted Fatah, keeping them confined to the West Bank and deepening political split between the two territories.

Over the past six years, Egypt and then Qatar have been mediating between Hamas and Fatah to end their division and form a transitional unity government that prepares for new presidential and legislative elections.

So far, the Arab efforts to end the Palestinian split have all but failed due to substantial differences on security issues, general elections and unity government.

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