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UN envoy, EU missions celebrate PA takeover of Gaza crossings

Nov. 2, 2017 6:15 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 2, 2017 6:16 P.M.)
The UN's new Middle East peace envoy Nikolay Mladenov. (AFP/Haidar Hamdani, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, released a statement on Wednesday commending the handover of Gaza crossings from Hamas to the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a “landmark development” in the implementation of the reconciliation agreement that was signed between Hamas and the Fatah-led PA last month. 

“The positive momentum should be maintained and the Palestinian Government must be fully empowered to function in Gaza,” Mladenov said, adding that “I take this opportunity to remind all factions in Gaza of the importance of maintaining security and ending militant activities that undermine peace and security for both Palestinians and Israelis alike.”

The European Union Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah released a similar statement, saying “the European Union reiterates its readiness to provide its full support to the efforts to reunite Gaza and the West Bank under one single and legitimate Palestinian Authority.”

“We will continue to liaise with the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Israel, and our international partners, including in the Quartet, in order to help this process to succeed, which is critical for reaching a negotiated two-state solution and sustainable peace,” the statement said. 

Numerous attempts have been made in the past to reconcile Hamas and Fatah since they came into violent conflict in 2007.

In addition to resolving the issue of public employees and Hamas’ military wing, Hamas and Fatah plan to pave the way for legislative elections for the unity government that would rule both the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

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