Security co-operation with Egypt's intelligence agencies improves conditions in Sinai: Hamas leader

Kristopher Drake
October 5, 2017

Egyptian Intelligence Minister Khaled Fawzy will arrrive in Gaza to meet with PA officials and Hamas leader Ismail Haniya on Thursday.

The Palestinian unity government convened in the Gaza Strip yesterday for the first time since it was formed in 2014.

The United Nations has offered a guarded welcome to the developments, while key broker Egypt encouraged the two sides to seize the "opportunity" for reconciliation.

It was the first meeting of the cabinet in Gaza since November 2014, although Hamdallah visited a year later without his ministers.

"Israeli threats against the Palestinian Authority, sanctions or even just [verbal] attacks on the PA and Mahmoud Abbas would, in fact, constitute direct threats against Egypt and its president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is sponsoring the reconciliation talks". It also said it was ready for elections and negotiations towards forming a unity government.

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.

Hazem Qassem, Hamas spokesperson, said that the reconciliation efforts reflected people's wishes. With the proceedings of the meeting, the talks came to a deadlock when Hamas refused the demand of giving up its weapons arsenal. "This time, both parties are serious about making the reconciliation project/unity government last".

Previous agreements for a unity government signed between Hamas and Fatah have failed to yield any concrete breakthroughs.

"We will solve all outstanding issues in consultation with all Palestinian factions". "We need all people to join in the movement in order to alleviate the sufferings of our people and face Israel's occupation in unity", said Salah al-Bardawil, spokesperson for the Islamic Hamas movement.

"I have full faith that, with the support and backing of their Arab brothers, the differences between the components of Palestinian society must be resolved within the Palestinian domain, while intervention by any external forces ought not [to] be accepted", he went on to say.

"I think Gazans need to wait a long time until they see significant changes happening on the ground".

The economic blockade of Qatar, along with the pressure imposed on Hamas by President Abbas by slashing salaries of civil servants and working with the Israelis to reduce electricity supplies to the besieged coastal region had created an explosive humanitarian situation in Gaza.

The Palestinian reconciliation process has ended the decades-old conflict between Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have been politically divided since 2007, when Hamas wrested control of Gaza from rival Palestinian faction Fatah, ending a short-lived unity government established after Hamas swept 2006 legislative polls that were ultimately rejected by Fatah, Israel and the global community. Hania said in the TV interview that Hamas is working with Egypt to improve security on the Gaza border.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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