But the group on Friday declined to say whether it would participate in a national unity cabinet as proposed by the mainstream Fatah faction of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
“The idea of creating a national, all-encompassing entity to manage the withdrawal and supervise the legislative elections is, in principal, a good idea,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.
“We are in favour of the creation of an entity re-grouping all the representatives of all the Palestinian forces; but that does not have to be done through a government,” he said, adding: “The idea of communal action is good; but there are differences over the way to do it.”
The Fatah central committee, which met in the Jordanian capital, Amman, on Thursday, called on the different Palestinian groups to participate in a government of national unity ahead of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which is due to start in six weeks.
“The central committee has decided to call on the different Palestinian movements to take part in a government of national union, taking into account the difficult circumstances which necessitate the unity of our people before the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip,” Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qureia said on Thursday.
Nabil Shaath: We look forward to
Aljazeera has also learned that the Central Committee of the Fatah movement has decided to hold the Palestinian legislative election before 20 January next year.
On the second day of its meeting in Amman, the committee also decided that its electoral lists should include figures from outside the movement.
Speaking to Aljazeera from Ram Allah, Fatah Central Committee member and Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Shaath said: “Fatah refused the 1974 covenant to establish an independent Palestinian state as it was transitional.”
“All Palestinian political decisions that were taken after the 1974 agreement called on establishing an independent Palestinian state on 1949 borders, the borders before 1967 with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital”, Shaath pointed out.
He said the agreement also called for the Palestinian refugees’ right to return. “We look forward to establishing a Palestinian state that ends the whole occupation that began in 1967,” he said.
“If we accept a rule on less than a state, it will be called autonomy according to the 1994 agreement”, he said.
“But that was part of continuous efforts that would not achieve an independent state unless it includes all lands occupied in 1967”, he added.
Shaath said Israel was still building settlements, roads and separation barriers on Palestinian land and strangling Jerusalem.
“Thus, no land remains to establish this transitional state when it is time to begin final talks,” said Shaath.
“We want to step forward immediately after Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to complete the road map plan.”
Islamic Jihad opposed
Islamic Jihad vows not to join in
Khalid al-Batsh, an Islamic Jihad leader, has ruled out the movement participating in a national unity cabinet.
“The Fatah central committee’s appeal for the creation of a national unity cabinet can be discussed by movements who want to participate in it,” he said.
“We in Islamic Jihad will not participate in any way in such a government as long as the Israeli occupation continues,” al-Batsh added.
Meanwhile, several Palestinians in the West Bank town of Bilin demonstrated after Friday prayers against the building of the separation barrier.
Israeli forces fired teargas at the demonstrators and also detained two peace activists who participated in the protest.