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Senior Fatah official visits Hamas-run Gaza

3 février 2010

A senior member of Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas‘ Fatah party returned to Gaza for the first time since the territory was seized by Hamas in 2007,  in a bid to encourage stalled reconciliation efforts. Nabil Shaath, a Gaza native,  member of the central committee of the secular Fatah, said he hoped to meet representatives from all the Palestinian factions including democratically elected Hamas, which seized Gaza control in June 2007.

« I want to see the citizens and their situation in Gaza. I am coming to part of the (Palestinian) homeland and I don’t need a visa, » he told reporters after passing through the Erez border crossing from Israel.

« I am in contact with my brothers in Hamas and all the Palestinian factions, and all of them know about this visit. I am not on a secret mission. »

« This visit has come late, » said Shaath, « but this was the best opportunity. We cannot continue with these divisions. »

« I hope this visit will create a better climate to encourage our brothers in Hamas to sign the Egyptian document, » he said, referring to a unity deal proposed by Cairo that was signed by Fatah in October.

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