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May 13, 2014

Palestinian factions start talks on forming joint government

GAZA (Reuters) – Officials from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the rival Islamist Hamas group met in Gaza on Tuesday to discuss the make-up of a unity government they hope will end a seven-year schism.

Officials from the two groups said they planned to propose non-politically affiliated candidates for seats in a unity cabinet which will be tasked with preparing presidential and parliamentary elections after six months.

May 7, 2014

Hamas eases ban on Palestinian newspapers from outside Gaza in unity gesture

GAZA (Reuters) – The Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip said on Wednesday it had relaxed a ban on Palestinian newspapers published outside the enclave as a gesture of reconciliation to rival group Fatah after their unity deal last month.

The announcement came two days after Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas met Hamas’s leader in exile, Khaled Meshaal, in Qatar for their first talks since the unity pact was signed.

Apr 29, 2014

Palestinian deal will not make Hamas change: veteran leader

GAZA (Reuters) – A Palestinian unity deal will not lead Islamist group Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist and will not result in any Gaza militants coming under President Mahmoud Abbas’s control, a senior Hamas official said on Tuesday.

Veteran Hamas strategist Mahmoud Al-Zahar told Reuters the group, which runs the Gaza Strip, was waiting for Abbas to form a unity government, but said the Palestinian leader was taking his time in an effort to overcome U.S. and Israeli opposition.

Apr 23, 2014

Hamas, Abbas’s PLO announce reconciliation agreement

GAZA (Reuters) – The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact, both sides announced in a joint news conference.

The move, coming after a long line of failed efforts to reconcile after seven years of internal bickering, envisions a unity government within five weeks and national elections six months later.

Apr 22, 2014

First PLO delegation since 2007 war arrives in Gaza for unity talks

GAZA (Reuters) – Palestine Liberation Organization delegates arrived in Gaza on Tuesday to discuss unity with militant group Hamas for the first time since their 2007 conflict, in a potential boost for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

Few Palestinians expect a breakthrough in the deadlock that has paralyzed Palestinian politics, and many have low expectations of any resolution to the seemingly endless duel.

Apr 22, 2014

First PLO delegation since 2007 war heads to Gaza for Palestinian unity talks

GAZA (Reuters) – The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) sent a delegation to Gaza on Tuesday to negotiate unity with militant group Hamas for the first time since their 2007 conflict, potentially boosting Fatah leader and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s position.

Few Palestinians expect a breakthrough in the deadlock that has paralyzed Palestinian politics, and many have low expectations of any resolution to the seemingly endless duel.

Apr 17, 2014

Cut off from the world, Gazans consumed by poverty

GAZA (Reuters) – Life has never seemed so grim for the Mustafas, a family of seven cramped into a shabby two-room hovel in Gaza’s Jabalya refugee camp.

Seven years into an Israeli blockade and ten months into a crippling Egyptian one, Gaza’s economic growth has evaporated and unemployment soared to almost 40 percent by the end of 2013.

Apr 10, 2014

Gaza athlete still runninng despite West Bank marathon ban

GAZA (Reuters) – Kicking up dust on the back roads of northern Gaza within sight of the Israeli fence that seals off the enclave, Olympic athlete Nader Al-Masri is still training, despite being barred from competing in his people’s largest sporting event.

Masri, who has participated in 40 international contests including the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, was denied a permit by Israeli authorities to travel to the occupied West Bank for the Palestine Marathon on Friday.

Mar 25, 2014

UNRWA chief appeals to Israel, Egypt over Gaza restrictions

GAZA (Reuters) – The outgoing head of the U.N. agency that aids Palestinian refugees urged Israel and Egypt on Tuesday to lift their border restrictions on the Hamas Islamist-run Gaza Strip.

Filippo Grandi, commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Organization (UNRWA), said Israel and Egypt had legitimate security concerns but that the plight of the 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza should also be taken into account.

Mar 23, 2014

Hamas rally in Gaza takes aim at Egypt, Israel and Abbas

GAZA (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied in Gaza on Sunday to show support for their Islamist Hamas government, which has long been at loggerheads with Israel but is now shunned by Egypt as well.

The military-backed government that toppled the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s ideological kin, in Cairo last year deems the Palestinian faction a security threat. An Egyptian court this month banned Hamas activities in the country, and Cairo has clamped down on smuggling tunnels across the Sinai-Gaza border.

    • About Nidal

      "I have been Reuters senior correspondent in Gaza since 1996 working alongside a team of photographers and video journalists covering one of the world's perennial 'hot spots'."
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