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Jihad leader: Unity with Hamas is not political tactic

Jan. 25, 2012 5:11 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 26, 2012 9:22 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The integration of Islamic Jihad and Hamas is a legitimate demand and not a political tactic, Jihad leader Khader Habib said Wednesday of efforts to bridge gaps between the movements.

Habib said like-minded Islamist groups should unite across the world, not only in Palestine where Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders this month announced their intention to unify the Palestinian resistance forces.

Speaking at an Islamic Union meeting in Gaza, Habib said Islamic Jihad suffered dearly under the rivalry between Fatah and Hamas. The movement has "spared no effort" to reconcile the parties, he said.

He added that revolutions across the Arab world would have a positive impact on the Palestinian cause, echoing remarks spoken by the premier of the Gaza government a week earlier.

That official, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, initiated an "in-depth dialogue" between the groups that Islamic Jihad leaders say will strengthen their positions in light of Islamist parties' successes over the past year.

Muhammad al-Hindi, another Jihad official based in Gaza, said at the time that closer cooperation would help give the uprisings across the Arab world a more "Islamic dimension."

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