Palestinian Statehood: Hamas, Fatah Move Toward Reconciliation
But as West Bank Palestinian leaders make their way to the United Nations later this week to apply for statehood, their Hamas rivals will not stand in their way, according to Hamas's prime minister Ismail Haniya.
"We support establishing a Palestinian state on any part of Palestinian land without giving up an inch of Palestine or recognizing Israel," he said in a statement to the members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Haniya also said that Hamas had reached an agreement with Fatah not to stage demonstrations across Gaza over the conditions of the statehood bid, the AFP reported.
"In accordance with the reconciliation agreement and efforts to bring an end to division, Fatah and Hamas have agreed to unify their positions in Gaza in order to avoid any action which might divide us again," a Hamas statement read.
The policy shift can be interpreted as a milestone in Hamas-Fatah relations. The two sides have been at major odds since the Palestinian legislative election in 2006, when Hamas took the majority of the seats in the Palestinian parliament.
Additionally, Hamas -- which ousted Fatah from the Gaza Strip in 2007 after a string of deadly clashes -- has historically been opposed to the idea of a Fatah-led push for U.N. recognition.
The statement came as Palestinian Authority President and Fatah party leader Mahmoud Abbas arrived at the United Nations on Monday, fully prepared to make his case for a U.N. recognized Palestinian state.
Abbas has informed U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of his intentions to address the U.N. General Assembly on September 23 over the issue of statehood, in spite of the threat of a U.S. veto in the Security Council.
If accepted, Palestine would become the U.N.'s 194th member.
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