Palestinian rivals declare three stages to end decade-long split

People celebrate as Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah arrives to take control of Gaza from the Islamist Hamas group, in the northern Gaza Strip. (Reuters)

Palestinian Authority Spokesperson Yousef al-Mahmoud has said that the agreement to end division between rivals Hamas and Fatah will be accomplished in three stages; the formation of committees to begin work on solving the problems of the crossings, electricity, water and other issues.

"We are determined to resolve all outstanding issues to achieve reconciliation," he added.

He said that the government held a "quick discussion to resolve electricity, water and reconstruction issues, and the security and the crossings issues will be discussed in Cairo next week."

Decade-long split

The Palestinian cabinet met in Gaza on Tuesday for the first time since 2014 in a further step towards the internationally recognised Palestinian Authority (PA) retaking control of the territory.

In an opening speech, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah renewed his pledge to end a decade-long split between the Islamist Hamas movement that controls Gaza and his West Bank-based government.

"We are here to turn the page on division, restore the national project to its correct direction and establish the (Palestinian) state," he said.

The session took place at the official Gaza residence of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the cabinet office, hung with portraits of Abbas and historic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

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

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Last Update: 15:24 KSA 18:24 - GMT 15:24
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