For the first time in a decade, the Palestinian Authority is expected to hold its weekly cabinet meeting in the Gaza Strip next week. The move is part of Hamas’ reconciliation initiative and the terror organization’s desire to mirror Hezbollah’s military position in Lebanon.

Hamas military parade

Hamas military parade Photo Credit: Hamas Twitter page/ Channel 2 News

For the first time in ten years, the Palestinian Authority’s government will be holding its weekly meeting in Gaza. The meeting, which will take place next week, is intended to be the first in a series of many step towards removing the Gaza Strip from under the authority of Hamas’ Labor Committee.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is expected to send his security chiefs and those in charge of the border crossings to begin negotiations with Hamas. An Egyptian intelligence delegation will also be going to Gaza to monitor the talks.

Though there are still many obstacles on the way to restoring PA control in the Gaza Strip, Hamas has shown willingness to making the necessary changes. In return, the terror organization will push to ensure that its military wing can continue operating freely in the area- much like Hezbollah in Lebanon. Thus far, Abu Mazen has still not required that Hamas disband its military wing.

Since 2011, many attempts have been made to resolve the dispute between the two movements and form a unity government- all of which have failed. In 2014, Hamas and Fatah agreed to form a national reconciliation government, but Hamas’ government continued to rule the Gaza Strip.

In a statement issued last week, Hamas said it was dispersing the interim government and allowing for a reconciliation government to operate in Gaza. The same statement said that Hamas agreed to hold elections and begin talks with Fatah.

In recent months, in an attempt to pressure Hamas to relinquish control of Gaza, the PA cut its payments to Israel for the electricity it supplies to Gaza. Today, representatives of the PA are in New York preparing for US President Trump’s meeting with Abu Mazen and for the chairman’s speech at the UN General Assembly where he is expected to expand on the reconciliation agreement.