Unity government’s mandate to expire this week: Hamas

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The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says that the mandate of the national unity government, established in June, with the rival Fattah group will expire this week.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told a news briefing in Gaza City on Sunday that the national consensus government declared six months ago will end on December 2, adding that talks should take place regarding a future government.

Earlier in April, the two Palestinian factions signed an agreement to end years of rivalry and form a unity government. The new cabinet of the Palestinian unity government was sworn in on June 2.

Abu Zuhri said that any decision on either extending the mandate or forming a new government must be made through national dialogue and consensus.

“We should agree on the coming period either by extending the mandate for this government or look for forming a new government,” he said.

“Therefore we need to continue our debates and discussions concerning the future. So keeping this government or reshuffling it should go through dialogue, discussion and consensus,” Abu Zuhri added.

He said that Hamas “isn’t interested in incitement, but rather seeks to maintain national unity.”

Abu Zuhri also censured the arrests of dozens of Hamas supporters by Fattah security sources in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, Faisal Abu Shahla, a senior Fattah official, denied that the unity government was meant to last only six months, adding “What we agreed in June is to form a government and after six month is to hold the elections.”

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