BEIRUT

Middle East

Hamas irons out dispute over Palestinian unity

CAIRO: A senior Hamas official says the leadership of the Islamic militant group has settled internal disagreements and approved a unity deal with its political rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Izzat al-Rishq, who is an aide to Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, says that Hamas' Syria-based political bureau met in Cairo Wednesday and okayed the agreement.

Since 2007, the rivals have run separate governments in the West Bank and Gaza. The agreement signed in Qatar between Mashaal and Abbas on Feb. 6 envisions Abbas heading an interim unity government ahead of elections.

Hamas leaders in Gaza had objected to relinquishing power to Abbas but appear to have dropped their opposition.

Abbas and Mashaal are to meet later Wednesday.

 

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