Israeli warning as Palestinians edge closer to reconciliation

Israeli warning as Palestinians edge closer to reconciliation

Israeli warning as Palestinians edge closer to reconciliation

The source stressed that this step is an important turning point in the history of the Palestinian cause.

"There are still huge political, security and administrative differences that are unsolved", he added.

Despite the caution, fed by the failure of previous attempts at reconciliation, this visit is to prepare the ground for a gradual transfer of responsibilities -at least calendar - from Hamas to the palestinian Authority, which issued the government of Prime minister Rami Hamdallah.

Hamas leaders rejected demands to surrender the group's weapons after it handed over most governing control in the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority, raising the prospect that unity efforts may fail again.

Last month Hamas announced that it would dissolve its administration in Gaza and was ready for elections to form a unity government ruling over both the strip and the West Bank.

"Bennett stipulated three conditions before money transfers would be authorized: "return of the bodies of slain IDF soldiers Oron Shaul, Hy" d, and Hadar Goldin, Hy" d; Hamas's recognition of Israel and "the ending of incitement"; and the Palestinian Authority ending all payments to terrorists imprisoned in Israel.

It was the first meeting of the Cabinet in Gaza since November 2014, and comes a day after Hamdallah entered the territory for the first time since a unity government collapsed in June 2015.

The Palestinian Cabinet's initial work will focus on providing more electricity and water for Gaza's 1.9 million residents and funding construction projects, spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud said at a news conference. Fatah would assume "full control" of Gaza, or nothing, and that includes the border, security and all ministries. The refusal by Abbas to accept the victory of Hamas and the abortive coup led by Fatah leader Mohammad Dahlan backed by Israel and the United States furthered widened the strife between the two rival Palestinian factions. He also withheld salaries for Gaza civil servants.

The return of the PA to Gaza had been cautiously welcomed by the United States and the United Nations, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it could be a "bogus" reconciliation "at the expense of our existence".

According to the minister, Israel continued to follow the developments, although he believes an agreement won't come around, especially after hearing that the parties will attempt to share Gaza.

Earlier on Tuesday, Jewish Home party chairman Education Minister Naftali Bennett called for measures beyond rhetoric, saying that Israel "must immediately stop transferring tax money to the Hamas government headed by Abbas".

Abbas made the remarks in his meeting with Norway's Middle East peace envoy Tor Vinslad at the presidential headquarters in West Bank city of Ramallah.

That statement contradicted President Abbas who on Monday said that Hamas would have to hand over its weapons to the unity government.

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