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Egypt hails 'opportunity' for Palestinian unity

05 October 2017

"Achieving Palestinian reconciliation encourages donor nations to meet their commitments towards Gaza", he said, going on to call on the global community to put pressure on Israel to "lift the siege on the Gaza Strip".

"I say on my behalf and on behalf of the brothers in Fatah and all the Palestinian factions that we are ready to pay any price for the success of Palestinian national reconciliation", he said.

Despite the caution, fed by the failure of previous attempts at reconciliation, this visit is to prepare the ground for a gradual transfer of responsibilities -at least calendar - from Hamas to the palestinian Authority, which issued the government of Prime minister Rami Hamdallah. One of the major issues will be merging government institutions in Gaza and the West Bank.

"Today, we stand before an important, historical moment as we begin to get over our wounds, put our differences aside and place the higher national interest above all else", he said. "This time, both parties are serious about making the reconciliation project/unity government last".

Egypt has brokered the rapprochement between the two sides.

Hamdallah is scheduled to meet with Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh later Monday and conduct a tour of the coastal territory. Why did Liberman order Defense Ministry officials to arrange for the efficient entry of the Palestinian delegation into Gaza?

Although the reconciliation talks are viewed as a positive step towards Palestinian unity, they have already experienced their first sign of trouble.

The Gaza Strip has been under siege by Israel since 2007.

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The Palestinian Authority has also sought to punish Hamas for setting up what was seen as a rival government, reducing electricity payments for Gazans. Abbas said would not allow the terror group to keep its weapons and armed brigades if control of Gaza is transferred to the PA under the framework of a unity government.

"Hamas demanded that the people's grievances be addressed in the meeting", he said.

Palestinians must disband the Hamas military arm and sever the connection with Iran, which calls for the destruction of Israel, said Netanyahu, who spoke in Maale Adumim, a West Bank settlement where the prime minister said thousands of new apartments will be built.

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

"We are here to turn the page on division, restore the national project to its correct direction and establish the [Palestinian] state", he said.

Abbas told Egyptian news station CBC late Monday that he would not go along with an agreement on the Lebanon model, in which Hezbollah fields a huge military while leaving governance to civilians. No Hamas officials were involved.

The United States appears to share this view.

Abbas made the remarks in his meeting with Norway's Middle East peace envoy Tor Vinslad at the presidential headquarters in West Bank city of Ramallah.

Egypt hails 'opportunity' for Palestinian unity