The European Union Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah have commended leaders on the recent reconciliation talks between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and the PA's cabinet traveled to Gaza earlier this week to hold a meeting with Hamas ministers.The larger focus of the meeting was to discuss territorial divisions of the West Bank and Gaza and how the PA would take over the latter. Despite little progress on this - and Israel's firm stance that it will not accept any conclusions reached by the various Palestinian leaders - the EU representatives celebrated the push by the PA to "assume its responsibilities in Gaza.'' The EU representatives also encouraged unfettered access for the Palestinians to humanitarian aid and ''a fundamental change to the political, security, and economic situation in Gaza, including an end of the closure and a full opening of the crossing points, while addressing Israel's legitimate security concerns.'' The press release from the EU representatives made no mention of Egyptian security concerns. Also on the agenda was including the PA's request that Hamas disarm, a request that has been firmly denied by the group's political chief, Ismail Haniyeh.
"Regarding the weapons of resistance," Haniyeh said, "as long as there is a Zionist occupation on Palestinian land, it is the right of the Palestinian people to possess weapons and resist the occupation in all forms of resistance.''
One eve of Gaza reconciliation, Hamas frees Fatah men, October 1, 2017. (Reuters)