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Hamas calls on Palestinian Authority to end Gaza sanctions

Ismail Haniyeh has called on the PA to end its sanctions on Gaza [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 19 September, 2017

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Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh has called on the rival Palestinian Authority to end its sanctions on Gaza after the Islamist movement made concessions to Ramallah.
Hamas have called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to end Ramallah's sanctions on besieged Gaza, following a recent political breakthrough between the two Palestinian rivals.

Leading Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh asked the Palestinian Authority to grant some relief for impoverished Gaza residents who have lived through years of siege.

It is hoped that recent consessions by Hamas - including dissolving the shadow cabinet - will be enough to end Ramallah's sanctions on Gaza.

The energy blockade is believed to have been put in place by Fatah to pile on the pressure for their rival in Gaza. 

"We have taken practical steps on the ground. The administrative committee no longer functions in Gaza and we are ready, starting now, to welcome the government of national consensus," Haniyeh said, according to Reuters.

"Our people expect you to suspend and cancel the measures and begin a dialogue."

It comes after the Fatah-dominated administration in Ramallah ceased payments for electricity to Israel in June, plunging much of Gaza into darkness.

Gazans can never expect more than six hours of electricity a day since the energy blockade began.

Ramallah also slashed the salaries of tens of thousands of public sector workers in Gaza, who were paid by the Palestinian Authority.

In a bid to end the suffering, Hamas on Sunday said it would effectively hand over control to Gaza to the president and allow for fresh elections to take place in the beseiged territory.

Gaza is under siege by Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority leading to scant supplies of most basic goods.

Haniyeh said that he hopes Egypt will also end its siege on Gaza, where Hamas - until last year formally linked to the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which is derided by Cairo - holds power.

"I can say that this visit (to Cairo) has laid strategic foundations for the ties between Egypt and Hamas," he added.

Hamas won general elections in 2006, which was challenged by Fatah and led to civil war in Gaza. Hamas seized control of the enclave following the fighting, which has been in its hands ever since.

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