PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh [file].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
For the first time, the Palestinian unity government is set to convene in Gaza on Thursday after "great efforts" were made to obtain from Israel the necessary permits for the ministers to cross into the coastal territory, Ma'an reported on Monday.
Israel granted officials permits to cross through the Erez terminal in northern Gaza, Ma'an reported.
In April, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas agreed to a controversial reconciliation deal. However, in-fighting between the two Palestinian factions has been a major stumbling block in allowing a concrete government to form.
Hamas has a strict policy of not recognizing the State of Israel whatsoever, while PA officials have engaged in peace talks with the Jewish state.
Last month Hamas and Fatah said that they reached an agreement to allow the Palestinian Authority government to operate in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas and Fatah leaders said the agreement calls for the PA government, headed by Rami Hamdallah, to “immediately” assume its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian sources said the agreement allows the PA to take control over the border crossings in the Gaza Strip, including the Rafah terminal.
Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.