Hamas's prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, attends a meeting of the Palestinian legislative council in Gaza City
Hamas's prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, attends a meeting of the Palestinian legislative council in Gaza City on September 18. The Islamist Hamas ruling the Gaza Strip and its secular rival Fatah agreed on Monday not to stage demonstrations in the enclave over the Palestinians' UN demand for statehood. © Mahmud Hams - AFP/File
Hamas's prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, attends a meeting of the Palestinian legislative council in Gaza City
AFP
Last updated: September 20, 2011

Hamas, Fatah agree no Gaza demos over UN bid

The Islamist Hamas ruling the Gaza Strip and its secular rival Fatah agreed on Monday not to stage demonstrations in the enclave over the Palestinians' UN demand for statehood.

"They (Fatah and Hamas) have agreed to cancel any action or demonstration supporting or denouncing the recourse by Abu Mazen (Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas) to the United Nations," a Hamas official said in a statement.

"In accordance with the reconciliation agreement and efforts to bring an end to division, Fatah and Hamas have agreed to unify their positions in Gaza in order to avoid any action which might divide us again," it added.

The statement also warned that the Hamas authorities "will forbid any demonstration supporting the Abu Mazen initiative," after a Fatah chief in Gaza Saturday called for peaceful demonstrations there before the UN statement bid.

Hamas, which ousted Fatah forces from Gaza after deadly clashes in 2007, has criticised the decision to apply for full UN membership and warned that no Palestinian leader has a mandate to sacrifice fundamental Palestinian rights.

Hamas premier Ismail Haniya, speaking in Gaza on Sunday, said the group continued to support the establishment of a Palestinian state on any part of "historical Palestine" but would not seek to disrupt the UN bid.

"There is no mandate for any Palestinian leadership to infringe on Palestinian national rights, nor is there a mandate for any Palestinian actor to make historic concessions on Palestinian land or the right of the Palestinians, foremost among them the right of return," he warned.

"Given this position, we reiterate our rejection of this bid."

But Haniya stressed that Hamas would "not place obstacles in the way of the establishment of a Palestinian state with full sovereignty."

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