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Abbas: "I am prepared to go to Gaza tomorrow to end the rift"

Headline: “In a speech to the [PLO] Central Council, once again emphasizing that he will not run for re-election, President: I am prepared to go to Gaza tomorrow in order to end the rift and to put together a government of independent national figures”
[Opening session of the 24. meeting of the PLO Central Council]
     … “There has been much talk about initiatives and about comprehensive dialogue. To emphasize my determination to end the rift [between Fatah and Hamas] and to start anew, and out of concern for the national interest, and honor and appreciation for the masses of our people who came out spontaneously yesterday, demanding an end to the rift, I turn to the masses of our people and to the Hamas movement in particular, with a new initiative to end the rift, concerning which I have consulted with no one. I hereby announce that I am prepared to go to Gaza tomorrow in order to end the rift and to establish a government composed of independent national figures, in order to prepare immediately for elections for Parliament [lit: Legislative Council], for the Presidency, and for the National Council, within six months or at the earliest possible date, under the auspices of the UN, the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the international organizations. Likewise, I am ready to postpone the [composition of the] government, if we reach an agreement soon. National unity stands above every other consideration. I want to hand over the pledge (i.e., leadership) with a clear conscience. I have noted time after time that I will not offer my candidacy for President, and I call upon brother Ismail Haniyeh to undertake the necessary preparations for this visit, in coordination and consultation with the factions in Gaza.”
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