Hamas welcomes Fatah leaders’ return to Gaza conditionally

By Xinhua

Gaza : Hamas, or Islamic Resistance Movement, said on Sunday that it welcomed the return of rival Fatah movement’s leaders to Gaza as long as their return wouldn’t strain the situation again.

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Ayman Taha, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, told reporters that “Hamas movement doesn’t oppose their return to Gaza. It is their right as long as they would act according to the law and they won’t act in a way that would bring tension to Gaza again.”

Earlier, Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Fatah spokesman in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said that several Fatah leaders, who fled Gaza after Hamas’ forcible takeover of it in mid June, are planning to return to the coastal enclave.

Rahman, however, declined to give more details on who the Fatah leaders are and when they would return.

The Hamas spokesman said, “We hope that their return would contribute to reopening the door for the resumption of dialogue and for ending the current Palestinian crisis.”

Hamas movement wouldn’t impose conditions or criterion on theirreturn, said Taha, noting that “but if anyone of those who would return was involved in the last incidents, he would be punished according to the law.”

On June 14, Hamas militants took control of the Gaza Strip after defeating the security forces and Fatah militants loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas. In the wake of the takeover, dozens of senior Fatah leaders fled Gaza to Ramallah.