Abbas welcomes Hamas reconciliation move

Hamas has agreed to dissolve the administration running Gaza, it said, a major step towards handing control of the enclave to a Palestinian unity government after a decade of bitter rivalry with President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Islamist group, which has ruled Gaza since a brief Palestinian civil war in 2007, said it had taken “a courageous, serious and patriotic decision to dissolve the administrative committee” that runs the territory of 2 million people, and hand power to some form of unity government.

Abbas welcomed Hamas’ move – a result of talks mediated by Egypt – and said he would convene the Palestinian leadership for discussions upon his return from New York where he was attending the U.N. General Assembly.

The development would “enable the formation of a national reconciliation government to work in the Gaza Strip and hold … elections,” he said in a statement on official news agency WAFA.

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