A top official from the Egyptian Intelligence Services arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday to oversee the implementation of an agreement signed between Hamas and Fatah, the Hamas-linked al-Rai news site reported.
In mid-October in Cairo, under the auspices of the Egyptian Intelligence Services, Hamas and Fatah agreed to advance reconciliation efforts and restore the Palestinian Authority’s governing authority in Gaza.
Gen. Hamam Abu Zeid, accompanied by Egyptian Consul General in Ramallah Khalid Sami, entered the Strip via the Erez crossing just after noon, where he was welcomed by Hamas security chief in Gaza Tawfiq Abu Naim and senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad.
According to Palestinian Authority and Fatah officials, Abu Zeid is supposed to oversee the process of Hamas handing over responsibility for Gaza to the PA.
In the mid-October agreement, Hamas and Fatah agreed to completely transfer responsibility for Gaza to the PA by December 1.
Additionally, PA and Fatah officials have said that Abu Zeid is supposed to call out any party, hindering the transferring of responsibility for Gaza from Hamas to the PA.
PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh told Palestine TV on Saturday that Hamas has been preventing the PA government from taking responsibility for Gaza. According to Sheikh, Hamas has barred the PA from collecting taxes and calling up its employees to work in its ministries in Gaza and stifled discussions on the future of the Strip’s security.
Hamas spokesman Salah Bardaweil objected to many of Sheikh’s statements on Twitter, saying in a post addressed to the PA: “You all have taken over the ministries, authorities and crossings.”
On Monday afternoon, Abu Zeid met with PA Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr in Gaza City.
“Abu Amr informed... the members of the Egyptian security delegation of the latest developments in terms of national reconciliation and empowering the [PA] government to operate in the Gaza Strip,” a short readout of the meeting published on the official PA news site Wafa said.
Maan, a Palestinian news outlet, reported a security source as saying Abu Zeid will stay in the Palestinian territories for several days, moving between Gaza and the West Bank.
Egypt is supposed to host Hamas and Fatah delegations during the first week of December to review the implementation of the mid-October agreement.