November 26, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said Monday that he supports Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his upcoming bid for an upgraded Palestinian status in the United Nations.

Palestinian official news agency Wafa said Mashaal voiced his support during a phone conversation with Abbas, who also heads Fatah movement, Hamas' bitter rival.

Izzt al-Rashq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, confirmed in a statement that Mashaal, the politburo chief, supported the Palestinian UN bid.

Mashaal stressed that the approach to the United Nations " should be part of a national vision and strategy that maintain the national principles and rights," al-Rashq said.

Prior to the Abbas-Mashaal conversation, Hamas' official stance was against the bid. The movement said the bid was a unilateral step by Abbas.

In 2007, Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and took over the control of the Gaza Strip, leaving the Palestinian leadership confined to the West Bank.

However, after Israel ended its aerial offensive against Gaza last week, Hamas and Fatah appeared to be closer to unity.

The Palestinians are scheduled to submit their application to the United Nations on Nov. 29, hoping to upgrade their status to a "non-member state".


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