Hamas says willing to apologize for seizing Gaza during dialogue

By Xinhua

Ramallah : Hamas is ready to apologize to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement for taking over the Gaza Strip by force, but only after dialogue with Fatahis resumed, a Hamas spokesman said Sunday.

Support TwoCircles

“We are ready to make an apology over taking control of the Gaza Strip as President Abbas demands, but this should be made on the table of dialogue,” Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said.

Taha stressed that his movement will keep rejecting conditions that Abbas outlined before any resumption of Hamas-Fatah dialogue.

Abbas asserts that Hamas must end its control of the Gaza Strip, which came into being since June of 2007, hand over headquarters and facilities of pro-Abbas security forces and apologize for its “military coup”.

In return, Hamas wants Abbas, who fired its government after the June infighting, to start “an inclusive dialogue tackling all the controversy issues which were in place before June,” according to Taha.

Meanwhile, an Arabic newspaper reported that preparations are underway to hold a meeting between Abbas and Hamas leaders who are based in West Bank where Abbas’ Fatah movement is still dominant.

The newspaper, Al-Khalij daily expected that the meeting will be held in the upcoming two days “to ease the tension between the two movement’s supporters.”

The national dialogue between Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah collapsed in June last year after Hamas militants overran Fatah’s security forces and took control of the Gaza Strip.

Right after Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip, Abbas had not only fired the Hamas-led coalition government, also severed all contacts with Hamas. As a result, the national dialogue between rival Hamas and Fatah has since collapsed.