Palestinian Territories

Unity Cabinet meets in Gaza


It looks as though the Palestinian Unity Cabinet is a reality after a number of false starts. Yesterday the Unity Government met in Gaza for the first time and discussed the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip after the devastation of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge”.

Below are two press releases as published on the Palestine News Network (PNN) and the Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA).

PNN release:

“PM Rami Hamdallah arrived in Gaza for the first unity cabinet meeting

Details Published on Thursday, 09 October 2014 13:26.

PNN/ Ramallah

Unity Cabinet arrived in Gaza today Thursday lead by Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah and Palestinian officials, to hold its first meeting since its formation last June. The meeting will be held in President Mahmoud Abbas’ residence between Fatah and Hamas officials.

Salim Saqqa, minister of Justice, said that the Authority members and their delegation arrived in Gaza through Beit Hanoun checkpoint after having their permits, where they were officially welcomed by Gaza officials.

A press conference was held upon the unity cabinet arriving to Gaza. PM Hamdallah said “The years of strife between us and the rift between the Palestinian factions are behind us, and the government is embarking on the mission to restore life in the Strip to their right track”

The meeting will discuss rebuilding Gaza, and will call upon international assistance of $4 million.

Hamdallah and his cabinet ministers toured several areas in the Strip, mainly those areas heavily damaged after the Israeli assault, including Al-Shujaiya neighbourhood.

Hamdallah will meet with the deputy leader of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, in his home in the A-Shata refugee camp. Later, the government will convene for a general discussion of the Strip’s situation, followed by a meeting between the ministers and Palestinian businessmen, expected to take part in projects to reconstruct the Strip and in long-term investments.

Hamdallah will make additional tours across the Strip on Friday, mainly in its southern areas, and will then leave to Cairo through the Rafah checkpoint.”

WAFA release:

“Prime Minister: Government’s Meeting Inaugurates New Phase of Unified Action

GAZA, October 9, 2014 – (WAFA) – Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah stated Thursday that the national consensus government’s meeting in Gaza inaugurates a new phase of unitary action.

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah presided over the first meeting held by the national consensus government in Gaza. The meeting was held in President Mahmoud Abbas’ former residence.

Speaking during a press conference following the cabinet’s meeting, Hamdallah stated that the government has committed itself to unifying the homeland’s institutions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, stressing that the strip is widely acknowledged as an integral part of the national project.

“The devastation we have seen is very shocking. The government commits itself to raise funds for Gaza reconstruction. Gaza has lived through three wars, and, therefore, we have to offer hope to Gaza population and work to lift the blockade and bring the occupation to an end,” said PM.

“We need to raise many billions for Gaza rebuilding; a theme that we will tackle during the Gaza Reconstruction Conference slated to be held on Sunday October 12. The Palestinian delegation to the conference will be headed by the President himself. We have drawn up detailed plans for the reconstruction which will take several years to be completed,” added Hamadallah.

“Despite the many challenges we are facing, we have to circumvent them through our national unity. As this government represents all the Palestinians, I call upon all Palestinian factions to support the government towards achieving the final goal of bringing the Israeli occupation to an end and establishing the independent Palestinian state,” added Hamdallah.

The Premier stressed that the government has committed itself not only to tackling unemployment among the Gaza population, but also to providing hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities.

The premier noted that the government would make a payment for the salaries of public servants who have been employed since 2007 before the end of this month and that it has made an intervention to solve the issue of electricity and infrastructure and started to repair partly destroyed homes.

He stressed the government’s determination to end the internal division and address its negative consequences, noting that the national unity is irreversible.”

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