Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh expressed openness on Tuesday to the concept of a unified Palestinian administration governing both Gaza, under Hamas rule, and the occupied West Bank. Haniyeh mentioned receiving numerous proposals regarding the internal Palestinian situation and conveyed a willingness to consider the establishment of a national government that encompasses both the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas has maintained control over the Gaza Strip since winning the 2006 Palestinian elections, leading to subsequent conflicts with the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.
Efforts for reconciliation between factions have proven unsuccessful, and Palestinian Authority President Abbas’s popularity in the West Bank has seen a decline. The governance of Gaza has been a focal point during the recent three-month conflict between Hamas and Israel, with the United States emphasizing the involvement of Palestinians in any post-war administration. However, the future role of the internationally-recognized Palestinian Authority remains uncertain.
In Haniyeh’s address on Al Jazeera, he also discussed the potential for a second pause in the fighting. A previous truce facilitated the release of nearly half of the 250 hostages abducted from Israel on October 7 by Gaza militants. Haniyeh mentioned that the release of the remaining 129 hostages in Gaza would be contingent on terms set by the resistance, without providing further details.