Palestinian PM leads unity cabinet in Gaza

Marie Harrington
October 5, 2017

"We return to Gaza in order to conclude reconciliation and national unity and end the painful impacts of divisions and to rebuild Gaza brick by brick", Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said, Reuters reports.

Jason Greenblatt (left), President Donald Trump's global negotiations representative, meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in March.

"We are here to close and forever (turn) the page on division and steer our national project back to its right track to end the Israeli occupation based on worldwide law and United Nations resolutions", he reportedly said.

"Whoever wants to make such a reconciliation, our understanding is very clear: recognise the State of Israel, disband the Hamas military arm, sever the connection with Iran, which calls for our destruction", Netanyahu said.

In September, Hamas has come to accept the return of the Authority under the pressure of the big neighbouring egypt, disappointments diplomatic of his ally of qatar and a severe turn of the screw given financial by the president of the Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.

The Hamas leader added: "We want a government to dominate the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and carry out its work without any interference from anyone".

Hamas does not accept Israel's right to exist.

The decade-long division has also been a key obstacle to peace talks with Israel.

The cabinet meeting was held at the official Gaza residence of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the cabinet office.

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With unemployment at an estimated 44 percent, most young people have little prospect of finding a full time job and starting an independent life. The palestinian government met in Gaza on Tuesday. In turn, Israeli strikes on Hamas target in Gaza are commonplace.

An Egyptian security delegation is monitoring the reconciliation process.

The sides are to begin negotiations next week in Cairo. One of the major issues will be merging government institutions in Gaza and the West Bank.

So why didn't Netanyahu threaten Abbas with sanctions or condemn him for an alliance with those who aspire to destroy Israel?

Hamas then pushed Fatah out of Gaza in a bloody conflict, when the latter refused to recognise the result of the vote.

"This time is different", a top Fatah official explained to Al-Monitor on the condition of anonymity.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in an interview Monday with the Egyptian television station CBC, also demanded the disarming of Hamas.

Since 2007, the Authority no longer exercises its authority, limited, on the west bank, a palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 50 years and separated from Gaza by a few tens of kilometers of israeli territory.

The United States cautiously welcomed Hamdallah's visit Monday. President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, who visited Israel and the West Bank at the end of September, updated Netanyahu on the American position on the reconciliation and the significance of such a move for a U.S. peace blueprint soon to be unveiled.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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