Palestinian PM to hold rare Gaza cabinet meeting

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Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah will make a rare trip to the blockaded Gaza Strip next week to hold his weekly cabinet meeting, a sign of progress after recent unity talks sponsored by Egypt, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported Monday.

Hamdallah’s decision followed last week’s announcement by Hamas, who controls the Gaza Strip, that it was dissolving a contentious committee set up earlier this year to organize their governing of the enclave in order to advance reconciliation between the group and its rival Fatah movement.

On his return from Egypt-sponsored unity talks in Cairo, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh told reporters last week that Hamas had made steps towards reconciliation and was awaiting a response from Fatah, the dominant Palestinian faction led by President Mahmoud Abbas.

There has been a decade-long split between Gaza and the occupied West Bank since Hamas took control of the coastal enclave in 2007, following internal disputes sparked by Hamas’s victory in 2006 elections, which was rejected by Fatah and the international community.

Despite several rounds of unity talks, agreements about a unity government to end the divide between Gaza and the West Bank have not been previously implemented.

Hamas has now called for the unity government to take over its duties and for elections to be held.

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