Egypt's special envoy to the reconciliation arrives in Gaza

MAHMUD HAMS
Palestinian PM arrives in Gaza, first visit since 2015
Author

06 October, 2017

"Everything must be in the hands of the Palestinian Authority (PA)", he added.

Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the US, the European Union and Israel, agreed to cede control of Gaza as funds from overseas dried up and Abbas imposed sanctions that reduced government salaries and cut electricity to three hours a day.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told the cabinet at the start of its meeting, usually held every Tuesday in Ramallah, that his government was going to assume full responsibility of all sectors of life in Gaza "in full co-operation and partnership with all the Palestinian factions and forces", PA-owned Wafa news agency reported.

More than two million people live in impoverished Gaza, which has been blockaded by Israel and Egypt for years.

Before concluding his visit, Fawzy invited Hamas and Fatah leaders to meet in Cairo next week to discuss further moves in reconciliation, which is set to include another comprehensive meeting for all Palestinian factions to activate a reconciliation agreement reached in Cairo in 2015.

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El-Sissi sponsored the negotiations in part because he wants Hamas' cooperation in deterring attacks on Egyptian soldiers in the northern Sinai peninsula bordering Gaza.

Fawzy was keen to remind Abbas and his staff in Cairo that the initial understandings signed by Fatah and PLO executive Committee member, Azzam al-Ahmad three weeks ago, clearly states that the file about Hamas Military Wing weapons in the Gaza Strip won't be addressed in any way before there is a political solution with Israel. Palestinian militants have fired about 11,000 rockets into the Jewish state since Israel removed its soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005.

The Trump administration's global negotiations representative, Jason Greenblatt, called on the Palestinians on Monday to recognize Israel and commit to nonviolence, while applauding the Palestinian reconciliation efforts amid the latest round of renewed US-led peace efforts in the region.

"We will not accept any external power from Hezbollah in the Strip and we will not let any other countries intervene in Palestinian affairs, apart from Egypt", Abbas said Tuesday.


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