Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh says members of the Palestinian Fatah movement can return to the Gaza Strip.
“The (Hamas) government will allow all Fatah members who are from Gaza and who left the Strip (in 2007) to return, without any preconditions,” AFP quoted Haniyeh as saying on Monday.
He further noted that the authorities would “release a small number of Fatah members who are imprisoned (in Gaza) for security reasons.”
He also described the move as a bid to promote Palestinian “reconciliation,” saying, “We have promised our people to take decisions that would reinforce the internal (Palestinian) front and pave the way for reconciliation.”
In 2011, Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation accord to form a transitional unity government, which was supposed to pave the way for legislative elections before the end of May 2012. However, the process failed and is yet to be implemented.
On January 17, 2013, the two rival Palestinian factions agreed, in the Egyptian capital Cairo, to revive consultations over the deal by the end of the month.
Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since the former won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006.
The Israeli regime reacted to the victory by imposing a blockade on the Gaza Strip. Fatah, however, set up headquarters in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.