Hamdallah visits Gaza to begin reunification with Ramallah

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Monday visited Gaza for the first time in two years to begin the process of reunifying Hamas-controlled Gaza with leadership in Ramallah.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah is surrounded by security as he waves following his arrival at the Erez border crossing in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday. Hamdallah is on on his first visit to the Gaza Strip for talks aimed at securing a rapprochement between Fatah and the enclave's rulers Hamas. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/ UPI | License Photo
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah is surrounded by security as he waves following his arrival at the Erez border crossing in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday. Hamdallah is on on his first visit to the Gaza Strip for talks aimed at securing a rapprochement between Fatah and the enclave’s rulers Hamas. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/ UPI | License Photo

Hamas, a fundamentalist governing body, took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, but last month dissolved and invited the PA to take control..

“I call on everyone without exception to embrace the leadership, reconciliation and national unity, and to put our national interest above all narrow party considerations and interests,” Hamdallah said Monday after passing through the Erez Crossing to enter Gaza.

Hamdallah said reconciliation would bring greater international support for the Palestinians.

“The world will not stand by the side of a torn and divided people regardless of the justice of its issue or the legitimacy of its rights,” he said.

The Press Trust of India and Jerusalem Post reported that Hamdallah was greeted by supporters in Gaza.

He was expected to meet with Hamas leader Ismail Haniya and Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar later Monday,

By Danielle Haynes