15:05 GMT28 October 2020
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    RAMALLAH (Sputnik) - The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has demanded from the Hamas movement to hand over full control over the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian government said in a statement obtained by Sputnik.

    "The council of ministers demands from the Hamas movement to immediately cede control over the Gaza Strip," the statement said.

    According to the document, the government is ready to take responsibility for Gaza in order to save it from the dangers that surround it and prevent Israel from splitting Palestine.

    The statement was issued after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had directly accused Hamas of the bomb attack on Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's motorcade during his visit to Gaza last week and threatened to impose sanctions against the enclave.

    On March 13, an explosion hit a site near Hamdallah's motorcade in the Gaza Strip. Hamdallah himself was not injured in the blast. The Palestinian National Authority placed the blame for the attack on the Hamas movement, which has been governing the Gaza Strip. Hamas, in turn, condemned the attack on Hamdallah's convoy and called on law enforcement agencies to find the perpetrators as soon as possible.

    In October 2017, Hamas and its rival Fatah faction, headed by Abbas, signed a reconciliation agreement, prior to which Hamas agreed to hand over administrative control of the Gaza Strip and start talks with Fatah in order to hold a general election in Palestine. In late November, the two sides agreed to hold parliamentary and presidential elections in Palestine before the end of 2018.

    Nabil Shaath, the foreign affairs adviser of Abbas, told Sputnik in February that the intra-Palestinian reconciliation process had been put on hold, because the Hamas movement had not yet relinquished administrative control over the Gaza Strip.

    READ MORE: Israeli Tanks Target Hamas Posts in Gaza in Response to Explosions — IDF

    Hamas, which is listed as a terrorist organization in a number of countries, including in the United States and Israel, gained control of the Gaza Strip after a short war with Fatah in 2007. Fatah has repeatedly criticized Hamas for dividing the country and preventing the Palestinian Unity Government from ruling the Gaza Strip.


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    government, Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Rami Hamdallah, Gaza Strip, Israel
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