The national consensus government declared by Hamas and Fateh, this past summer, has finished its interim term, a Hamas spokesman said Sunday.Sami Abu Zuhri stated, during a news conference in Gaza City, that the unity government’s six-month term had expired, and that a dialog should be resumed, on a national level, to discuss the future of the government.

Ma’an News Agency reports that, according to Mr. Abu Zuhri, any decision on whether the government should be disbanded or continued or be to reshuffled must be made only through national dialogue and consensus.

Hamas ‘isn’t interested in incitement’, he said, but, rather, ‘seeks to maintain national unity’, stressing that the movement ‘does not control the Gaza Strip at all’ and that… ‘if the national consensus government doesn’t want to take responsibility for Gaza, this doesn’t mean the government is exempted from this responsibility.’

Abu Zuhri went on to criticize the Palestinian Authority for its responsibility in what he describes as ‘politically motivated arrests’.

(So far, in November, 80 Palestinians have been detained in the West Bank for political affiliation, he said, adding that 70 of them were still in PA custody.)

Senior Fateh official Faisal Abu Shahla told Ma’an, Sunday, that there was never any agreement that the Palestinian unity government would last only six months, stating that the national consensus government was assigned to carry out a number of tasks, including the holding of elections within at least six months, but that it was never agreed that the government term would end, if it did not complete those tasks within this time frame.

‘If the Hamas movement has retracted the reconciliation agreement and the termination of rivalry, that is a different case,’ Abu Shahla said.

Furthermore, PA President and Fateh member Mahmoud Abbas recently stated that, should the UN Security Council reject a pending draft resolution to end the Israeli occupation, e will reconsider relations with Israel through ceasing security coordination and obliging it, as the ‘Occupying Power’, to take responsibility of the situation.

A political reconciliation was agreed upon by Hamas and the Fateh-led PLO in April, taking oath in June and apparently ending seven years of political discord. Until the agreement, Hamas had been running its own government in the Gaza Strip, following elections in 2006.

Violent clashes subsequently broke out between the movement and rival Fateh members in 2007, and Hamas declared sovereignty over Gaza.

It was then that Israel began to tighten its restrictions on the Strip, leading to frequent humanitarian crises and outbreaks of violence between Israeli forces and armed resistance groups associated with the region.