Hamdallah Arrives in Gaza, Locals Protest Visit

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah arrived in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday for a three day visit.

Hamdallah was accompanied by Minister of Culture Ziad Abu Omar and Minister of Health Jawad Awwad.

Fatah spokesperson Ahmad Assaf told Ma’an that the visit is intended to support Palestinians in Gaza and help speed up the stalled reconstruction process.

The PM will meet with senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh and a Fatah delegation in the coastal territory.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri urged Hamdallah to end discrimination against Gaza, adding: “The unity government has failed, so far, to be a government for all Palestinians.”

Palestinian children held shoes and signs in protest to Hamdallah’s visit outside the hotel where he will later hold a press conference.

The division between Palestine’s two largest parties Fatah and Hamas began in 2006, when Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections.

The following year clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of parts of the occupied West Bank.

Several attempts at national reconciliation in the years that followed ended in failure, including two agreements in 2012, in Cairo and subsequently in Doha, neither of which were implemented.

In April last year, a national unity deal was announced ending seven years of political division, with a national unity government to be set in place within five weeks.

However, the 50-day conflict between Hamas and Israel severely strained relations between the two parties, particularly over Palestinian Authority security co-ordination with Israel in the West Bank.

(Ma’an – www.maannews.net)

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