Monday, June 9, 2008

Haniyeh plays down chances of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation bid

Getting The Orders From The Boss Next Week: No Reconciliation With Hamas; Got That?

"The leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip played down on Monday the chances of quick reconciliation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.

"Things are still at the beginning and it may take a long time," said Ismail Haniyeh, whom Abbas dismissed as prime minister of a Hamas-led unity government last June after the Islamist group ousted secular Fatah from the Gaza Strip in bloody coup.

Abbas's call last week for "a national and comprehensive dialogue" has been welcomed by Haniyeh, though aides to Abbas said there was no change in his demand that Hamas give up control of the Gaza Strip.

Haniyeh said any dialogue should be held "without conditions". "There should be no winners and no losers."

Haniyeh cited resistance from Israel as a factor that could delay reconciliation......."

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