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Hamas official: Reconciliation is 'all or nothing'

Jan. 31, 2013 1:05 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 31, 2013 10:13 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Gaza government is committed to national reconciliation, but the unity deal will be frozen unless all its terms are implemented together, the deputy premier said Thursday.

"We must implement the reconciliation agreement as one package," said Ziyad al-Thatha in a statement.

Al-Thatha said if any terms of the May 2011 deal were not implemented, the whole agreement would be frozen.

Meanwhile, the Hamas minister said his government hopes to reduce unemployment in the Gaza Strip from 60 percent to 30 percent by creating jobs and training workers to contribute to the local market.

"We were able to achieve self-sufficiency in all types of vegetables and a good number of fruits," al-Thatha said, adding that the government was creating new opportunities in industry, trade, tourism and transport.

The government is also financing micro-projects with $10,000 loans, he said.

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