August 30, 2011 - 12:00am

Implementing the Palestinian reconciliation deal takes a long time, Prime Minister of the deposed Hamas administration in Gaza Ismail Haneya said Tuesday.

"The implementation is going on very slowly," Haneya said during a mass prayer in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to mark the end of Muslims' fasting month of Ramadan.

"The reconciliation should be based on clear principles and concentrated choices that do not give up any of those principles," Haneya added, stressing on the option of armed resistance against Israel.

Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, which holds sway over the West Bank, signed an agreement in May to restore political unity in the Palestinian territories.

Abbas insisted on retaining his West Bank premier, Salam Fayyad, as the leader of the new unity government, but Hamas rejected this. Since then, there has been no progress on the case.

Haneya said Hamas and other factions have reacted "wisely" and succeeded in preventing a large-scale Israeli military operation in Gaza earlier this month.

Haneya was referring to a wave of violence in which Israel killed at least 25 Palestinians while rocket fire from Gaza killed one Israeli. Hamas persuaded the groups to abide by an Egypt- mediated ceasefire to stop the hostilities.

The violence flared up after Israel accused Palestinian militants of planning and taking part in a string of deadly attacks in the southern Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017