Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends a cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah July 4, 2007..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has instructed several of his security chiefs to travel to the Gaza Strip next Monday to meet with Hamas officials, two senior Palestinian security sources told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
“The president ordered the five principal security chiefs to go to Gaza to discuss security matters with Hamas,” one source said.
Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007 when it ousted the Fatah-dominated PA in a violent coup. However, Hamas announced last week that it dissolved its governing body in Gaza
and that it is prepared to hand over responsibility for the Strip to the PA.
Nonetheless, since Hamas made its announcement, it has not clarified if is ready to give up security control there. In previous talks with Fatah and the PA, Hamas rebuffed efforts to make it cede control of the Strip’s security.
The two sources said the five chiefs will arrive in Gaza with PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and other government ministers.
In response to Hamas’s announcement that it is ready to transfer responsibility for Gaza to the PA, Hamdallah announced last Monday that he will host the PA government’s weekly cabinet meeting in the Strip next Tuesday.
According to the two sources, the five officials who will travel to Gaza include Police chief Hazem Atallah, National Security Forces head Nidal Abu Dukhan, General Intelligence Service chief Majid Faraj, Preventive Security Service chief Ziad Hab al-Rih and Military Intelligence chief Zakaria Musleh.
Most of them have not been to Gaza since the coup in 2007.
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