World\Middle East

Abbas opponents join parliament session in Gaza first time in 10 years

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-27 19:37

GAZA -- Opponents to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Fatah Party joined on Thursday a special session for the Hamas-led parliament, or the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), held in Gaza first time since 2007.

Mohamed Dahlan, a Fatah lawmaker and a strong opponent to Abbas, delivered a speech before Hamas and Fatah lawmakers, during a special session held at the PLC headquarters in Gaza City in support of Jerusalem.

Dahlan called for holding an emergency meeting in Cairo, Egypt, with the participation of all Palestinian factions and political powers to end more than ten years of internal split.

"This meeting will be not only for ending our division, but also for backing our people in Jerusalem," said Dahlan, stressing need to pressure Israel to stop its measures against Jerusalem.

Around 12 pro-Dahlan Fatah lawmakers attended the special PLC session.

It is the first time since the beginning of the internal Palestinian division that Hamas and Fatah lawmakers were seen sitting inside the parliament building close to each other listening to Dahlan's speech.

In 2006, Hamas won an overwhelming majority in the elections for the Palestinian National Authority parliament, and defeated Abbas Fatah Party.

However, the PLC remained inoperative since 2007, when Hamas had forcibly seized control of the Gaza Strip and routed Abbas security forces.

"We are holding our session today for Jerusalem, the capital of our independent Palestinian state, and to work together on how to support and back our people in the city who are defending Al-Aqsa Mosque," said Dahlan.

Last month, Dahlan met with a senior Hamas delegation in Cairo, chaired by Gaza Hamas strongman Yehia Sinwar, and both agreed on a series of understanding aiming at easing hard living situation in the Gaza Strip.

"There had been efforts, which were exerted with Hamas leadership throughout direct dialogue, and we reached common understandings that would bring hope to our people in Gaza," he said.

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