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3,000 PA officers 'to join Gaza security forces' in unity step

May 4, 2014 3:30 P.M. (Updated: May 15, 2014 10:02 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Arrangements are being made for some 3,000 Palestinian Authority policemen to join the Gaza government's security forces, a statement said Sunday.

Abd al-Salam Siyam, secretary-general of the Gaza government's cabinet, said in a statement that the officers would be sent to Gaza in order to begin implementing the Hamas-PLO unity deal reached on April 23.

The officers worked in Gaza before the PA left the coastal enclave in 2007.

Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad will visit the Strip to discuss the formation of the unity government, the statement said, without specifying when the visit would take place.

"Hamas and the Gaza government have made a strategic decision to move on with reconciliation and so they will do what is needed to implement the agreement," the statement added.

On April 23, the Fatah-led PLO and Hamas announced a national unity deal to end seven years of political division between the largest two Palestinian parties, with a national unity government to be set in place within five weeks.

The division between Fatah and Hamas began in 2006, when Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections.

In the following year, clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of parts of the occupied West Bank.

The groups have made failed attempts at national reconciliation for years, most recently in 2012, when they signed two agreements -- one in Cairo and a subsequent one in Doha -- which have as of yet been unimplemented.
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