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Palestinian factions dispute fate of Gaza employees

29 November 2017

The Palestinian Authority's minister of civil affairs said Sunday that Hamas is dragging its feet in ceding control of the Gaza Strip, with the PA having assumed authority over only 5 percent of affairs just days ahead of a looming December 1 deadline to hand over power.

But the future of their armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, remains unclear. In a press conference in Gaza City yesterday, Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya called on the unity government to fulfill its obligations toward Gaza, according to Anadolu Agency (AA).

Although the argument is being made that Hamas will be sitting in a government that as a body accepts the preconditions including recognition of Israel, adherence to previously-signed agreements and non-violence so the Palestinian entity should not be penalized, many USA lawmakers reject the logic and will demand that Hamas lay down its arms.

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In April, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas adopted a number of punitive measures as a way of piling pressures on Hamas to relinquish its control of Gaza.

It was agreed during the meeting that principles of the October 2017 Fatah and Hamas reconciliation would be adhered to, in order to allow the government to carry out its responsibilities in the Gaza strip.

"The Palestinian government will not be able to operate and implement its projects and security plans in the Gaza Strip if it is without a security arm".

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Sheikh said the PA has also struggled to assert full authority over Gaza's border crossings, which were handed over to the PA on November 1. He added, "These weapons will clearly move to the West Bank to battle the (Israeli) occupation there".

In Gaza, which Hamas has ruled since seizing it in 2007, there are no settlers after Israel withdrew in 2005.

Spokesperson for Palestinian faction says "weapons of resistance" is a red line amid ongoing reconciliation process.

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Palestinian factions dispute fate of Gaza employees