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Egypt's special envoy to the reconciliation arrives in Gaza
January 19 2018, 01:44 | Irvin Gilbert
Hamas reconciles with Palestinian Authority in Gaza
As a first step on the track to Palestinian reconciliation, Hamas is set to hand over power in the Gaza Strip to a Palestinian unity government.
A statement by President Abbas that included a comparison between Hezbollah and Hamas Military wing in the Gaza Strip has caused widespread confusion in the past few hours as Abbas said he would not accept any "illegal" weapons.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told the cabinet at the start of its meeting, usually held every Tuesday in Ramallah, that his government was going to assume full responsibility of all sectors of life in Gaza "in full co-operation and partnership with all the Palestinian factions and forces", PA-owned Wafa news agency reported.
He also urged an immediate lifting of the Israeli and Egyptian blockade on Gaza and an end to Israel's collective punishment of Palestinians in the enclave.
Both factions are expected in Cairo next week for a major conference to cement the reconciliation.
"The whole world is watching the efforts at achieving reconciliation between the leaders of the Palestinian people", El-Sissi said in a recorded speech played during a meeting between his intelligence chief, Khaled Fawzi, and Hamdallah.
El-Sissi sponsored the negotiations in part because he wants Hamas' cooperation in deterring attacks on Egyptian soldiers in the northern Sinai peninsula bordering Gaza.
During a TV interview with the Egyptian journalist Amro Adeeb, who arrived in Gaza yesterday, Haniyeh said that any Palestinian has the right to bear arms and resist Israel.
Israel in the past has opposed any role in Palestinian government for Hamas, which achieved global notoriety in the 1990s by launching suicide bomb attacks in the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.