Palestinian Factions, Fatah and Hamas, Move Toward Reconciliation in Gaza
Mr. Hamdallah promised that his first priority was easing Gazans’ suffering, which has deepened because of repeated wars with Israel since the Hamas takeover and under a dual Israeli-Egyptian blockade.
“I realize that the situation in Gaza has become unbearable because of wars and division,” Mr. Hamdallah said.
He also said reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas was necessary if the Palestinians were to confront Israel effectively.
“The world will not pay attention to a torn people,” he said. “The main winner of a continued split is the occupation.”
The deprivations in Gaza have grown only more acute since Mr. Hamdallah’s boss, President Mahmoud Abbas, imposed harsh restrictions on Hamas over the summer. Mr. Abbas stopped paying for Gaza’s electricity and reduced the salaries of thousands of bureaucrats, teachers and police officers, who have been on the payroll for years though Mr. Abbas ordered them not to work for Hamas.
Water quality has become dangerously poor, the air reeks of raw sewage, and the unemployment rate is approaching 50 percent, worse among the young.
Fatah and Hamas have made many attempts at reconciliation, and even formed a government together in 2014, but within weeks that agreement fell apart and a new war between Hamas and Israel intervened.