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Palestinian prime minister arrives in Gaza for talks

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah [AFP]

Date of publication: 2 October, 2017

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Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has arrived in Gaza on Monday afternoon for his first visit to the besieged enclave in two years.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah arrived in Gaza on Monday for his first visit to the besieged enclave in two years, as rival factions seek to overcome a decade of crippling divisions.

Hamdallah, along with dozens of Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) ministers and officials from the West Bank began crossing the border into the coastal enclave around noon time, ahead of meetings with leaders from rival faction Hamas, which controls Gaza.​ 

This comes hours after an Egyptian delegation arrived in Gaza on the eve of a fresh attempt at reconciliation between the Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.

The delegates were met by Hamas Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar and the group's head Ismail Haniya upon arrival.

In September, Hamas dissolved its administration that runs the besieged Gaza Strip and agreed to hold general elections.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - whose presidency expired in 2009 - runs the authority located in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, but it has had no control in Gaza for a decade.

In April, the PA started to end energy payments to Israel for Gaza, causing frequent power cuts in the besieged territory and severe pressure on regional hospitals.

The World Health Organisation warned in June that the blackouts threatened Gaza's health service provision and placed people's lives at real risk.

The PA have also reduced the salaries of some employees in Gaza, while the number of Gazans receiving PA permits to travel for medical care has declined.

The Independent Commission for Human Rights - based in the West Bank - called such measures to be reversed after Hamas dissolved the so-called administrative committee, seen as a rival government and created in March.

 

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