Civil society calls for new policies after unity deal

Palestinians protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah calling for a unity government and an end to the fighting between Hamas and Fatah.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Members of an umbrella group of Palestinian civil society organizations called on Wednesday for the reopening of institutions closed during the years of divided Hamas and Fatah government.

The groups slammed the policy of “politically-conditioned funding,” a statement from the Palestinian NGO Network conference in Gaza City said.

Stressing their support for the reconciliation deal between former rivals Hamas and Fatah, the conference called for a unified body to pass laws.

The Palestinian Legislative Council, last elected in 2006, has been defunct since the 2007 explosion in violence between the parties that separated the Hamas-run Gaza Strip from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Party leaders signed a deal to end the division in May 2011, but implementation stalled as the sides struggled to implement its key tenets, including a unity government to oversee the path to elections.

A fresh push was launched in late November after party chiefs met again in Cairo, and officials say they expect elections to take place in May.

( / 04.01.2012)

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