Fatah to offer polls to Hamas to end split

Gaza, Aug 18 : Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party will offer general elections to rival Hamas movement as a way to end the Palestinian internal split, a Fatah official said Sunday.

"Holding general elections is a good step to end the split that has been going on since 2007," said Amin Maqboul, a Fatah official, referring to Hamas' violent takeover the Gaza Strip and the ensuing political division of the Palestinian enclave from the West Bank, where Abbas is ruling, reported Xinhua.

After years of Egyptian and Qatari-sponsored talks between Hamas and Fatah, Maqboul said his movement believes that elections are the only way to settle the outstanding differences that the negotiations could not resolve.

Maqboul arrived in Gaza Sunday with other senior officials from Fatah in a rare visit to the Hamas-controlled territory. Hamas did not receive them officially.

Maqboul told Xinhua that Fatah delegation briefed other factions on the approach of elections and they welcomed it. He added that an upcoming meeting will take place between the delegation and Hamas in Gaza, where the elections' proposal would be presented to Hamas.

--IANS (Posted on 18-08-2013)

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