Top Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said on Wednesday that Paul Garner, Swiss Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority (PA) told him that Switzerland is to hold a conference about the internal Palestinian reconciliation, Quds Press reported.
Haniyeh revealed that he held a meeting with Garner last Friday, during his visit to the Gaza Strip.
The Hamas leader reiterated the importance of ending the internal Palestinian division and achieving the reconciliation. “We support a united government, united leadership and a united political programme leading to the liberation of Palestine,” he said.
He stated that reconciliation starts with recognition of the government employees recruited during his movement’s control of the coastal enclave. “We cannot let those who served the country during crisis times to go to the street,” he said.
This is the first time that Hamas has announced a meeting with an EU ambassador in Gaza. It had been a norm in Gaza that EU ambassadors and officials meet secretly with Hamas and their conditions always not to disclose information about such meetings.
Switzerland has previously proposed an initiative to solve the problem of the employees in order to bring about reconciliation.
The National Unity Government, which was formed in June 2014, has since refused to the pay the salaries of the employees recruited during Hamas’ rule which preceded it. However, it continues paying the salaries of the employees who have been in civil disobedient since 2007.
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