Palestinian prime minister rolls into Gaza amid reconciliation hopes

Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas to hold talks

The Palestinian prime minister is making a rare trip to Gaza as part of efforts to end a rift between Fatah and Hamas, which controls the territory.

He was welcomed by thousands of people, with hopes that this reconciliation plan can avoid the problems that wrecked several previous attempts.

"Returning the government back to Gaza strengthens the hand of those who want peace and who want to achieve peace between Palestine and Israel, and who want to do that on the basis of negotiations rather than violence".

Greeted by a visibly excited crowd upon his arrival at the northern Erez crossing with Israel, Hamdallah described the current situation in Gaza as "intolerable", referring to an acute power crisis that has compounded a decade-long Israeli/Egyptian blockade.

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Rami al-Hamdallah said at a welcome ceremony his unity government would begin assuming control of Gaza's administrative affairs, as well as "security responsibilities and responsibility for crossings and borders".

In this respect, the prospective "Hizbullization" of Hamas in Gaza is a major concern, as the Shiite Iranian proxy maintains a death grip on Lebanon, largely due to its military superiority, in contravention of UN Resolution 1701 which set the terms for the end of the 2006 war with Israel, including Hizbullah's total disarmament.

"We came with instructions from Abbas to tell the world from the heart of Gaza that the Palestinian state can not and will not be established without geographical and political unity between Gaza and the West Bank", Hamdallah said.

"It is a celebration, a national holiday", said Abdel-Majid Ali, 46.

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The Quartet, an worldwide body represented by the US, UN, EU and Russian Federation, said last Thursday that the reunification of the West Bank and Gaza under the PA would "unlock global support for Gaza's growth, stability and prosperity".

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov talks during a press conference in Gaza City, September 17, 2015. Whereas the deterrent Israel created during the 2014 Hamas war against the Jewish States is working, Hamas is sending terrorists into the Sinai to assist the growing presence of Islamic State.

Dahlan, based since 2011 in the United Arab Emirates, is behind an influx of cash to prop up Gaza and detente between Hamas and Arab states including Egypt, which hosted reconciliation talks.

"The agenda is crowded with ideas and projects", Culture Minister Ehad Bseisso said. The PA does not believe in the legitimacy of Hamas' arms. The punitive measures will be lifted as soon as this government takes power, according to Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior official in the Fatah movement that dominates the PA.

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Analysts say the Hamas shift came about because of factors including hard-hitting economic steps imposed by Mr Abbas such as cutting electricity payments to Israel, which caused blackouts, and the slashing of salaries of civil servants.

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