In a major reconciliation with Hamas, the Palestinian Prime Minister has visited the Gaza Strip, from which his party Fatah was violently ejected when its political rivals swept to power in the enclave in 2007.
At that time Fatah and President Mahmoud Abbas were still trying to talk peace with the Israelis and making compromises that Hamas found unacceptable, like recognising the state of Israel. Hamas was more militant and seen as less corrupt.
Hamas has continued the fight against Israel from Gaza, but has been hit hard by the Israeli army and Gaza is now blockaded.
“We are at the start of a new stage, a stage of work, hope, and unity in politics that will make the government able to fulfill its commitments towards the people of Gaza,” said Culture Minister Ihab Bseiso.
Day to day life in Gaza is dire, with shortages of everything, but the West Bank is better supplied. The warming in relations has included prisoner releases, and the Egyptians have played a large role in bringing about the reconciliation.