Palestinian PM to visit Gaza for reconciliation efforts

Palestinian PM to visit Gaza for reconciliation efforts
Mon Sep 25, 2017 13:47:43

Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah will travel to Gaza on October 2 as part of a fresh push to end a decade-long split between Fatah and Hamas, which runs the enclave, his government said Monday.

(AFP) -- The visit follows concessions by Islamist group Hamas after discussions with Egypt, which has urged it to take steps towards reconciliation with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah, based in the occupied West Bank.

Fatah and Hamas have been divided for a decade, with separate administrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"Prime minister Rami Hamdallah has decided after consulting with president Mahmud Abbas that the government will hold its weekly meeting in Gaza next week," government spokesman Yusuf Al Mahmoud said in a statement published by official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

"Hamdallah and members of the government will arrive in Gaza next Monday to start taking over government responsibilities after Hamas announced its agreement to dissolve the administrative committee and enable the government to assume its full responsibilities."

Hamdallah, who is not believed to have travelled to the Gaza Strip since 2015, also wrote about the visit on his Facebook page.

"I am heading to the beloved Gaza Strip next Monday with the government and all bodies, authorities and security services," he wrote.

"We hope all parties and all Palestinians will focus on the national interest to enable the government to continue carrying out all of its functions in a way which serves the Palestinian citizens first."

Hamas said a week ago that it had agreed to steps towards resolving the split with Abbas's Fatah, announcing it would dissolve a body seen as a rival government -- known as the administrative committee -- and was ready to hold elections.

The statement came after Hamas leaders held talks with Egyptian officials and with the Gaza Strip facing a mounting humanitarian crisis.

(Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah, seen here in March, will travel to the Gaza Strip on October 2 as part of renewed reconciliation efforts with Hamas AFP)

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