The first meeting since 2014 of the Palestinian Authority National Reconciliation Government was held in Gaza City on Tuesday, Ma’an reported.
Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah arrived at the council’s headquarters Tuesday morning to chair the cabinet meeting, which was attended by a majority of the ministers – who had arrived at the Gaza Strip on Monday.
In a speech before the opening of the session, Al-Hamadallah said his government would resolve all outstanding issues by consensus and partnership, stressing that achieving reconciliation will stimulate donor countries to fulfill their obligations regarding the reconstruction of Gaza.
He added that his government has “repaired 65% of the destroyed houses,” suggesting that the entire issue of reconstruction would be discussed at the coming meetings in Cairo.
He said that the return to power of the legitimate institutions would require “painstaking efforts, patience, time and wisdom,” adding that the government has received instructions from Chairman Abbas to exercise its valid authority in Gaza in a real and comprehensive fashion.
He called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to lift its siege on the Gaza Strip and called on Israel to stop the “collective punishment of Palestinians,” especially in Gaza, by lifting the siege and opening the crossings.
He then praised Allah, as well as the Arab Republic of Egypt for its efforts to achieve reconciliation within the PA. He also praised all initiatives and popular efforts to end the division.
The Fatah–Hamas conflict, also referred to as the Palestinian Civil War, was a battle between the two main political parties in the PA, Fatah (the main faction inside the PLO) and Hamas, following the 2005 death of Yasser Arafat, resulting in a split of the Palestinian Authority in 2007.
Since then, the two rivals had been in a stalemate, until an impatient PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas began applying harsh economic measures against the people of the Gaza Strip, such as blackouts and cut wages, until the Hamas government finally capitulated.
Both the Hamas in Gaza and the PLO in Judea and Samaria have not held parliamentary elections in more than a decade, and it remains to be seen who would win such an election – should the PA government call one.