Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Palestine takes over Gaza administration from Hamas

Palestinian PM arrives in Gaza, first visit since 2015 FIGHTING FUND
Christy Curtis | 04 October, 2017, 01:51

Hamdallah's ministers are expected to begin taking over government ministries after Tuesday's meeting, with negotiations in Cairo on more hard issues in the coming weeks.

"We do not accept any interference from any country in our internal Palestinian affairs, except for Egypt, because its interference is accepted by all parties involved, whether us [Fatah] or Hamas", he said.

Hamas and Fatah, which dominates the PA, have both expressed confidence that the latest unity initiative will fare better than the failures of the past. Hamdallah instructed ministers to prepare reports on the immediate needs in Gaza to improve life for residents as soon as possible, said a Palestinian Authority government spokesman. But it is the first expression emerging from the Trump Administration relating directly to the return of the Palestinian Authority government to Gaza and the possibility of establishing a unity government.

"Today we've turned the page of division forever", he noted.

Egyptian delegates arrived in Gaza on the eve of a fresh attempt at reconciliation between the strip's Hamas rulers and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, an official said on Sunday. It left Palestinians torn between rival governments on opposite sides of Israel. "Hamas continues to divert money belonging to the Palestinians of Gaza - including funds provided by global donors - and uses these funds to build terror tunnels, missiles and for other nefarious uses".

Husam Zomlot, the chief representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Washington office, said the meetings in Gaza mark a milestone in the Palestinian quest for an independent state.

Israel also resolutely opposes any involvement by Hamas in the PA.

That demand was rejected by Abbas in an interview with Egyptian television on Monday. The two state-run agencies and the Red Crescent are known for their regular aid to Palestinians, especially to Gaza, which has been suffering from an Israeli blockade and effects of the most recent Israeli offensive that devastated the main city.

"Hamas now isn't interested in ruling Gaza alone", said Ghazi Hamad, a de facto foreign minister for Hamas in Gaza. He has also withheld salaries for Gaza civil servants. Israel disputes this, saying the fate of settlements must be resolved through negotiations.

Hamas is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union, complicating the formation of any unity government.

This is not the first time Bennet made extremist right wing statements as he previously said that more people should have been "eliminated" in the war of Gaza calling them "terrorists".

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