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Hamas: Fayyad lacks legitimacy to form govt

Feb. 24, 2011 7:15 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 26, 2011 9:39 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Salam Fayyad is not authorized to form a government and does not represent any political faction because he is appointed by Fatah, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhari said Thursday.

In a statement, Abu Zuhari said the key to resolving the problem in the Palestinian arena is a comprehensive, national dialogue that would reform the Palestinian political arena in a responsible way.

He wondered how Hamas would accept elections while more than two thirds of Palestinians are in exile. Fayyad and Fatah are talking about an end to division to the media while they continue to detain Hamas members in the West Bank, he said.

Regarding the proposed visit of Fatah leader Nabil Shaath to Gaza, Abu Zuhari said Shaath's statements offered nothing new. “We are not counting anything on this visit while Hamas members are detained," he added.

Meanwhile in Nablus, thousands of Palestinians demonstrators urged the Palestinian Authority to reach out to Hamas to form a unity government and work toward statehood.

Some factions have accused Iran of exerting influence over Hamas leaders in Gaza to prevent a unity deal. In turn, Hamas officials accuse the PA of letting US influence stymie unity efforts.

Protesters organized a similar demonstration a day earlier in Bethlehem, where 2,000 demonstrators briefly closed a key Israeli checkpoint.

Both events come amid an unprecedented wave of uprisings in the Arab world, after pro-democracy movements brought down two autocratic regimes and sparked unrest in half a dozen other countries.

Activists in the West Bank and Gaza are threatening to take to the streets next month if the governments in the two Palestinian enclaves fail to negotiate an end to the state of political disunity that began in 2007.

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