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Haniyeh: Interference in Palestinian affairs impedes unity

Feb. 22, 2013 4:33 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 23, 2013 9:40 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Friday blamed external intervention in Palestinian affairs for hindering national reconciliation.

"We started to see a new wave of external interventions in the Palestinian decision-making process aimed at impeding the ongoing reconciliation efforts," Haniyeh said after Friday prayers at Khan Younis mosque in southern Gaza.

Haniyeh said Hamas' commitment to reconciliation was demonstrated by its decision to allow the Central Elections Commission to update the electoral roll in Gaza. The CEC completed voter registration on Wednesday.

"This move wouldn’t have been accomplished without the positive atmosphere and the honest intentions which prevailed during the Cairo talks and the responsible decision taken by the Gaza government and embraced by Hamas," the premier said.

The decision showed that Hamas is not afraid of elections, he said, adding that "legislative and presidential elections and elections of the Palestinian National Council should be carried out simultaneously."

Other unresolved issues should be addressed at the same time, he said.

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