Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (right) welcomes Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to the Gaza Strip, October 9..
(photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS)
In a rare meeting with Hamas-affiliated lawmakers, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Monday called on Hamas to dissolve its administrative committee in the Gaza Strip and allow the PA to take over governing responsibilities in the territory, according to official PA media.
Hamdallah’s appeal to Hamas, which controls Gaza, comes as Hamas and the Fatah-dominated PA are at loggerheads.
After Hamas in March established an administrative committee to run affairs in Gaza, PA President Mahmoud Abbas significantly slashed budgets provided to the Strip for electricity, medical supplies, and other purposes.
Hamas holds it was compelled to establish the administrative committee to make up for the PA’s neglect of the Strip, whereas Abbas maintains that Hamas had been undermining the PA’s activity in Gaza. The PA president has vowed to make additional cuts to budgets allocated to Gaza, if Hamas does not dissolve the committee.
Meanwhile, Gazans have become increasingly frustrated with few hours of electricity daily, polluted beaches, and high unemployment.