Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hamas calls for Palestinian reconciliation

DAMASCUS, Syria – Hamas called Thursday for reconciliation with supporters of rival Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas but insisted on pursuing "resistance" against Israel.

The condition appeared to preclude any agreement with Abbas, who seeks a peace deal with Israel and whose moderate Fatah faction was not among the groups that backed the statement by Hamas and seven other Damascus-based radical Palestinian factions.

The call came days after Israel ended a devastating 23-day war with the Islamic militant rulers of Gaza that Palestinian officials say killed about 1,300 people in the territory.
Hamas seized control of Gaza from Fatah by force in 2007 and Fatah set up a rival Palestinian government in the West Bank. It has been conducting peace talks with Israel for more than a year.

The eight factions said they will reject any political reconciliation deals that hinder the "continuity of the resistance" against Israel, a condition Fatah is sure to reject.

Israel had no immediate comment.
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