Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Tuesday that his government is ready for reconciliation with Hamas.
“The Palestinian government and Palestinian movement Fatah are ready for reconciliation with [the Islamic resistance movement] Hamas,” Shtayyeh said during a meeting with Hanna Nasser, the head of the Palestinian Elections Commission.
“The division is a black chapter in our Palestinian history, and if our perspectives of reconciliation with Hamas are different, let the people decide through elections," he said.
Shtayyeh stressed that his government believes elections are the only way to end Palestinian division.
“The main challenge, however, is to hold the elections in occupied East Jerusalem,” he said.
The West Bank and Gaza Strip have remained politically and administratively divided since 2007, when Hamas wrested control of the strip from Fatah following several days of street fighting.
Hamas’s capture of Gaza ended an earlier -- if short-lived -- unity government established after Hamas swept 2006 Palestinian legislative polls. /aa