Hamas Unity Gesture Brushed Aside by Fatah

GAZA (Reuters) -

The Hamas prime minister of Gaza has said that hundreds of members of the rival Palestinian Fatah group, exiled from the coastal enclave since a 2007 civil war, could now return in what he called a step towards Palestinian unity.

It appeared to be a significant gesture towards reconciling the ruling terror group in Gaza and the Western-backed Fatah in Yehuda and Shomron.

Fatah’s spokesman, however, dismissed the move as “superficial” and called on Hamas to implement past accords on Palestinian unity.

The Hamas and Fatah leaders committed to an Egyptian-backed unity deal in 2011 that dissipated in disputes over sharing power and finding a common strategy against Israel.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told a news conference that they will also soon free a number of jailed Fatah members, without giving details.

He denied Fatah accusations that the detainees have been political prisoners, saying they were jailed for “issues relating to political and national security.”