PA leader: Controlling Gaza is difficult

Rami Hamdallah, head of the PA government, says bringing Gaza back under the control of the PA is proving difficult.

Ben Ariel ,

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah
PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah

Rami Hamdallah, who heads the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) government, said Monday that bringing Gaza back under the control of the PA within the context of a recent reconciliation agreement with Hamas is proving difficult.

The PA's assumption of control over Gaza's border crossings last Wednesday was the first concrete step in the reconciliation process, Hamdallah said, according to the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

He added, however, that Fatah and Hamas had yet to agree on exact mechanisms for providing border security.

"Now we have a big problem at Gaza's borders; a problem of security. We have received the borders in theory but without security," he was quoted as having said.

"It's impossible to manage the borders without solving the security problem which should be examined as soon as possible," added Hamdallah.

Hamdallah also said there were problems regarding the return of former PA employees to their posts in Gaza, which they vacated when Hamas assumed control of the territory 10 years ago.

These issues will likely top the agenda of an upcoming round of Palestinian reconciliation talks slated to be held in Cairo on November 21.

Under the agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah earlier this month, the PA is to resume full control of Hamas-controlled Gaza by December 1.

Since the agreement was signed, Hamas has sent a high-ranking delegation to Iran, where its deputy leader, sanctioned terrorist Salah Al-Aruri, declared that the group would never agree to sever its ties with Iran and give up the armed struggle against “the Zionist regime”.

The move was in blatant disregard of Israel's demand that Hamas recognize Israel, disarm, and sever its ties with Iran before Israel negotiates with the PA unity government.