Middle East: Hamas' new peace gesture

Gaza City, 28 Sept. (AKI) - Hamas, in reconciliatory gesture towards Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, has offered to hand over the control of border crossings in Gaza to Egyptian security forces, a Arab newspaper reported Friday.

The proposal was delivered to Abbas in a document earlier this week, according to the London-based daily al-Sharq al-Awsat.

"From the moment Egypt takes control of the border crossings and the security headquarters the two parties (Hamas and the PA) will commit themselves to rebuilding national unity and new Palestinian institutions as well as setting norms and rules," the newspaper said citing the document.

In exchange Hamas wants Abbas to lift the economic embargo on Gaza and on those parts of the West Bank where support for the Islamist faction is high.

Hamas has also demanded the creation of a new government of national unity as stipulated in peace accords between it and Abbas' Fatah faction signed in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and Cairo, Egypt earlier this year.

Abbas has yet to reply to the proposal, al-Sharq al-Awsat, said.


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