Palestinian PM arrives in Gaza, first visit since 2015

  • Palestinian PM arrives in Gaza, first visit since 2015

Palestinian PM arrives in Gaza, first visit since 2015

Hamas seized power in Gaza in 2007 after bloody street fighting began when Fatah refused to recognize Hamas' election win and give up control.

A PA spokesman said Abbas would not lift sanctions on Gaza at this stage but rather await the outcome of talks planned between Fatah and Hamas in the next two weeks.

The prime minister of the West Bank-based Palestinian government, Rami al-Hamdallah chaired the first meeting of the Palestinian cabinet for three years in Gaza in a move toward reconciliation between mainstream Fatah and Hamas.

Tuesday's cabinet session took place at the official Gaza residence of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in the cabinet office, hung with portraits of Abbas and historic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

As part of efforts to end political division in Palestine, Idris, who took over duties and powers of Minister of Ministers in administration of Hamas, Hasan es-page in Gaza, "we will work to succeed in efforts of national reconciliation".

Sitting in his garden in Gaza City, Yasser al Kurdi hopes for a change. In recent months, Egypt has brokered talks aimed at bringing the two sides together.

He said Egyptians will be partners not mediators in the process.

"Allow me to tell you that today the entire world looks forward to your efforts in achieving reconciliation between the Palestinian people and appreciates your resolve to overcome all obstacles that have caused discord and division".

Qatar had backed Hamas, so the blockade further isolated Hamas.

Hamas's reversal was the most significant step towards elusive Palestinian unity since the government was formed in 2014.

Hamas's military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has an estimated 27,000 men under arms.

One major issue which the PA and Hamas will have to negotiate is what the latter calls "armed resistance" - what Israel and many others would call terrorism.

Yesterday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to put conditions on the peace deal, telling a meeting of his Likud party: "We are not prepared to accept bogus the expense of our existence".

The United States and the European Union blacklist Hamas as a terrorist organization, complicating the formation of any potential unity government.

Hamas does not accept Israel's right to exist.

But even amid economic turmoil, analysts fear Hamas leaders won't be willing to disarm.

The United States appears to share this view.

He will also meet with Israeli officials, according to Israeli Army Radio.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov said he was "encouraged" by the developments and wanted to see the Palestinian Authority government exercise full control in Gaza.