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Abbas: Hamas obstructs Palestinian internal reconciliation

July 9, 2012 (TSR) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday accused rival Hamas movement of obstructing the implementation of the Palestinian internal reconciliation agreements reached in Cairo and Doha.

At a joint news conference with European Commission Chief Jose Manuel Barroso following a meeting held in Ramallah, Abbas said that he doesn’t know why Hamas suddenly decided to halt the update of voters’ record in Gaza.

“Hamas suspended the registration of voters in the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) in the Gaza Strip, and this means obstructing reconciliation. I really don’t know why Hamas did so,” said Abbas.

Mahmoud Abbas, also known by the kunya Abu Mazen, has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket. Here, he attends a meeting of the PLO executive committee at his compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

Meanwhile, Barroso, who visits in the Middle East region, told reporters that the Palestinian reconciliation is very important because it must lead to holding elections, which is very necessary for the Palestinians.

He said that the European Commission is calling on the Palestinians to be committed to the principles of law and democracy and respect human rights laws by changing the authority through free elections.

Last week, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, announced that it suspended the updating of voters’ record in the enclave until Palestinian security forces in the West Bank stop following Hamas activists.

Barroso reiterated to Abbas that the European Union is committed to an independent Palestinian state, adding “I personally support the Palestinian president.”

“There is no alternative except the peace negotiations to reach the goal which is the two-state solution and the establishment of an in dependent and democratic Palestinian state to live side by side with Israel,” said Barrosso.

The direct Palestinian-Israeli peace talks had been stalled since October 2010 after Israel insisted to go on with settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Efforts to revive it have repeatedly failed.

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