Hamas on Friday said it was ready to work with the Palestinian Authority over Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip starting next month. But the movement declined to say whether it would participate in a national unity cabinet as proposed by the mainstream Fatah faction. "The idea of creating a national, all-encompassing entity to manage the withdrawal and supervise the legislative elections is, in principal, a good idea," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.
"We are in favour of the creation of an entity regrouping all the representatives of all the Palestinian forces, but that does not have to be done through a government," he said, adding: "The idea of communal action is good but there are differences over the way to do it."
The Fatah central committee, which met in the Jordanian capital, Amman, on Thursday, urged various Palestinian factions to participate in a government of national unity ahead of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which is due to start in six weeks.
However, Khalid al-Batsh, an Islamic Jihad leader, ruled out the movement participating in a national unity cabinet. "The Fatah central committee's appeal for the creation of a national unity cabinet can be discussed by movements who want to participate in it," he said.