Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas may visit the Gaza Strip for the first time since Hamas took power there in 2006, Ma'an reported on Sunday, quoting a source close to Abbas.

According to the Palestinian news agency's report, Abbas intends to travel to Gaza in order to prove his commitment to ending the rift between the rival factions, which has grown wider in recent years as the Gaza struggles under a comprehensive blockade and the West Bank heads toward sovereignty and independence.

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The source reportedly did not reveal the specifics of Abbas's planned trip, but said the PA president had been following the progress of the international multi-ship flotilla planning to break the naval blockade on Gaza.



The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the report.

In related news, organizers of the Gaza protest flotilla said the ships set out from Cyprus Sunday morning and will arrive in Israeli waters on Monday.

The flotilla was originally slated to arrive in Gaza on Saturday but faced several delays because of technical difficulties.

While eight ships were initially scheduled to sail to Gaza, in the end a total of five ships were reported to be on their way after three suffered technical malfunctions.

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