Hamas wants national coalition

HamasGaza- The Islamic movement Hamas said Saturday it wants the formation of a national unity government to settle the political crisis which has divided Palestinians.

"Hamas favours a national coalition that can defend the Palestinian people and their rights," said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoom in Gaza.

Barhoom's remarks indicate Hamas is opposed to the idea of a government made up of technocrats that do not include members of the two largest Palestinian groups -
Hamas and the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The proposal for a technocrat government was made during a series of meetings between Egypt and representatives of the Palestinian factions that oppose the feud
between Hamas and Fatah.

Last year, Hamas fought pro-Abbas forces and took over control of Gaza Strip by force. Abbas consolidated Palestinian Authority (PA) rule in West Bank while Hamas
tightened its grip on the Gaza Strip.

Abbas appointed a western-backed administration based in the West Bank after he withdrew his Fatah movement from a Hamas-led coalition in response to Hamas'
violent takeover in Gaza.

Since then the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip has become politically separated from the West Bank.

Egyptian officials are due to meet the leaders of Fatah and Hamas separately at the end of this month and in October to try to get them to launch a diaogue to end the Palestinian crisis. (dpa)