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Incoming Palestinian PM calls for unity gov't


08:23, June 06, 2013

RAMALLAH, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Incoming Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah on Wednesday urged rival groups to agree on forming a national unity government.

Hamdallah, who was named by President Mahmoud Abbas as premier on Sunday, directed his call mainly at Hamas, the Islamic movement that routed pro-Abbas forces and took over Gaza in 2007.

In an interview with Voice of Palestine radio, Hamdallah urged Hamas to reach an understanding with Abbas, who heads Fatah party, to form a transitional government ruling the Palestinian territories until elections.

The call has been expressed earlier in Qatari and Egyptian- brokered agreements to reconcile the two movements, as their feud deepened political disunity between Gaza and the West Bank.

"Personally, I will push in the direction of making unity between Gaza and the West Bank, and I call all factions to work together to end this miserable split," Hamdallah said.

He voiced hope that when the government is formed by August 14, it will then be a unity government.

Hamdallah's eagerness for unity came after an unusual statement from Yousef Rizka, an aide to Ismail Haneya, Hamas' premier in Gaza, who said that the appointment of Hamdallah could be a basic factor for the unity of the people and the real national partnership.

Hamdallah welcomed Rizka's remarks, considering it as " encouraging to build on them for the sake of unity."

However, Rizka's words came after Hamas voiced its official stance that Hamdallah's government is illegal as it will not be put for confidence vote before the Hamas-dominated parliament, which has been idle since 2007.

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