A Hamas Official: Hamas Is Serious about Achieving Reconciliation

The meeting is reportedly the final phase of ongoing reconciliation efforts between Egypt and the Gaza Strip’s de facto rulers, amid a “clear desire by the Palestinian side to end the division without any external intervention, and move towards forming a Palestinian national unity government,” an Egyptian security source said.

The source added that Egypt is prepared to play a major role in Palestinian peace negotiations with Israel, should the French initiative to hold an international peace summit in the summer, prove unsuccessful.

Hamas official Ismail Radwan in May applauded Egyptian peace efforts and also underscored hopes of Egyptian support of Palestinians toward political reconciliation.

Hazem Qasem, a political activist affiliated with Hamas, said that the Movement is keen to overcome all obstacles hampering Palestinian reconciliation as long as the national constants remain unaffected.

Hamas is also concerned with achieving successful meetings with Egypt.

In a press statement on Tuesday, Qasem said that his Movement is keen on the involvement of all key Arab parties in the reconciliation process whether the meetings are to be held in Cairo or Doha. He revealed that Hamas believes that the national consensus program, which is the only Palestinian political paper that gained the consent of all Palestinian factions, is a convenient base for the program of any coming national unity government.

He affirmed that his Movement stresses on the legal, constitutional, and national rights of the civil workers. Overcoming the obstacles on the way of the reconciliation needs a resolution by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas undertaking to abide by the reconciliation requirements, to halt monopolizing decision making, and to convene the PLO temporary leadership framework, Qasem said.

Hamas has suffered poor relations with the Egyptian government ever since the Egyptian democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi, with whom they were closely allied, was thrown out of power in July 2013.

The Egyptian government has in the past accused Hamas of assisting the insurgency that has spread throughout the Sinai Peninsula, although Hamas strongly denies the allegations.

Meanwhile, Egypt has upheld an Israeli military blockade on the Gaza Strip for the majority of the past three years. The nearly nine-year Israeli blockade has plunged the Gaza Strip’s more than 1.8 million Palestinians into poverty.