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Hamas ponders over alternatives to unity government

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Gaza, Jan 11 (IANS) A senior Islamic Hamas official Saturday accused the Palestinian unity government of failure and said his movement is studying alternatives to it.

Ismail Radwan, a senior Gaza-based Hamas leader, told Xinhua that Hamas is considering all alternatives "in dealing with the crisis of this unity government".

Disputes between Hamas on one hand and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, his Fatah Party and the unity government formed last June, have recently mounted.

Hamas accused unity government’s premier Rami Hamdallah and his ministers of escaping from their responsibilities of Gaza, including relaxing the Israeli blockade, opening the crossing and paying the employees’ salaries.

However, Abbas’s Fatah Party officials, however, termed Radwan’s statements as Hamas’ excuse for escaping from the reconciliation commitments, mainly leaving its control on the Gaza Strip and its crossing points.

"The unity government achieved a big failure over the past seven months in being responsible for the Gaza Strip in accordance to the reconciliation agreements signed with Hamas," Radwan said.

Asked if one of the alternatives is to form a Hamas government and rule the Gaza Strip, Radwan said "our alternatives are consulted, debated and studied with the political powers and factions".

"One of the alternatives is to form an independent committee that becomes a national administrative body that temporarily runs the Gaza Strip. We discussed it with the factions and waiting for their response," he said.

The unity government complained that it is not able to rule the Gaza Strip because Hamas security and political officials are intervening into its affairs.

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