Abbas Plans Visit to Gaza Strip

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RAMALLAH - Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas intends to visit the Gaza Strip for the first time since a bloody Hamas coup ousted Abbas's Fatah leadership last June.

Senior PA officials Hikmat Zeid and Marwan Abdel Hamid traveled to Gaza Wednesday to make arrangements for Abbas's visit.

"We have been entrusted with ensuring the success of a comprehensive national dialogue," said Hamid, one of Abbas's senior advisors.

"We came here to emphasize that President Abbas is serious about his initiative [to reopen 'unconditional' talks with Hamas]," Zeid, a former PA minister, said.

"President Abbas is eager to visit the Gaza Strip and we [Fatah] have good intentions to end the dispute," he said.

Former Fatah security chief in Gaza Muhammad Dahlan said he doubted Hamas would end its "coup."

"Hamas is committing thousands of mistakes and crimes every day. Hamas is a failed group that has wrought disaster on us," he said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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