Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to visit the Gaza Strip after the UN General Assembly votes in favor of upgrading the status of the Palestinians to non-member observer state, a senior PLO official announced Thursday.

The announcement came shortly before Abbas was set to ask the General Assembly in New York to vote in favor of the statehood bid.

This would be Abbas's first visit to the Gaza Strip since Hamas seized control over the area in the summer of 2007.

Abbas's visit to the Gaza Strip is aimed at ending the dispute between his Fatah faction and Hamas, PLO Executive Committee member Zakariya al-Agha said.

Al-Agha said that Abbas's talks in the Gaza Strip would focus on the possibility of establishing a Fatah-Hamas unity government.

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