White House Senior Official: Hamas Won't Be in Government without Recognizing Israel

Will Hamas surrender Qassam Brigades to Abbas?

"The only way to statehood is through unity", Mr Hamdallah said after arriving in a 30-vehicle motorcade through the Erez border crossing separating Israel and Gaza.

It was the first meeting of the cabinet in Gaza since November 2014, although Hamdallah visited a year later without his ministers.

The Islamist movement Hamas has run Gaza since its violent take-over of the territory in 2007 from the PA, which is based in Ramallah in the West Bank and is dominated by the rival Fatah movement.

Netanyahu sees the deal as a Hamas effort to gain global legitimacy without changing its aim to destroy Israel, according to an Israeli official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue's political delicacy. While Hamas is eager to give up its governing responsibilities, officials say the group will not give up its arsenal of thousands of rockets and mortars aimed at Israel.

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In another tweet, he blamed "Fake News CNN and NBC" for going out of their way "to disparage our great First responders". Mr Trump has said that Hurricane Maria "totally destroyed" the island and left it with "no electric, roads, phones etc".

Bennet said that three conditions would be set as conditions for continuing to transfer funds to the PA, including the return of two bodies of Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 war on Gaza. "In Gaza, we are all brors in West Bank". "Egypt still insists on achieving a breakthrough for the Palestinian people towards a better future." .

But key sticking points, primarily Hamas' refusal to disarm its powerful military wing, are likely to complicate or even derail the reconciliation efforts in the coming weeks.

"If it does, then it's a non-starter for Israel", he said.

But US special envoy Jason Greenblatt also said any Palestinian government "must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties and peaceful negotiations". For one thing, this is far from being the first attempt at Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, all the others having broken down sooner or later - and usually sooner.

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He also pledged to prioritise aid programmes for Gaza's two million inhabitants, who UN Secretary General António Guterres said at the end of August were enduring "one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises" that he had yet witnessed.

At a meeting of his Likud party on Tuesday, Netanyahu said: "We are not prepared to accept bogus reconciliations" in which the Palestinians reconcile "at the expense of our existence".

In the phone call with Odeh, Abbas said he was determined to reconcile with Hamas and reach a deal that both sides could agree on to unite the Palestinian people against "the occupation", the statement said. "In the end we will get to the hard issues and principles", he said.

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