Photo Credit: Mohammed al-Hums / Flash 90
Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and Palestinian Authority and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas 'greet' each other at past meeting. (archive)

Top officials of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah are set to visit Gaza next Monday for the first time since Hamas seized the region in a bloody coup in June 2007.

PA Preventive Security chief Ziyad Hab al-Rih and PA General Intelligence Service chief Majid Faraj — who is also substituting for Palestine Liberation Organization secretary-general Saeb Erekat while he is undergoing medical care for pulmonary fibrosis — will accompany PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and his cabinet ministers on the visit.

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PA Police Chief Hazem Atallah, PA Security Forces head Nidal Abu Dukhan and Military Intelligence chief Zakaria Mussleh will go as well.

The trip is taking place as part of the agreements surrounding the dissolution of Gaza’s administrative committee that were brokered with Hamas by Egypt in recent weeks.

The two security heads are expected to lead the talks with Hamas over control of border crossings with Gaza – primarily, control over the enclave’s Rafah Border Crossing with Egypt.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.