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Hamdallah: 'Gaza is a symbol of steadfastness'

Oct. 9, 2014 1:35 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 11, 2014 10:20 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A delegation of West Bank officials arrived in the Gaza Strip on Thursday for the first meeting of the Palestinian unity government.

Speaking to reporters upon arrival, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said the rivalry between Fatah and Hamas was history.

"Feelings come together as I stand on the land of the Gaza Strip. Gaza is a symbol of steadfastness and dignity, and a protector and custodian of rights and history."

The major goal of the unity government is to end the rivalry between the West Bank and Gaza, Hamdallah added.

"We will go ahead united to protect Gaza and will never agree to separate Gaza and segregate its residents."

The Prime Minister, on behalf of president Abbas, also thanked those who "protected the dignity of our people and watered the land of Palestine with their blood and legendary steadfastness."

"We have put the years of disagreement behind us and started to realize reconciliation so as to get the international community to stick to its responsibilities of reconstruction, ending the siege, opening all Gaza's crossings, and operating a safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip," Hamdallah said.

The prime minister said he was shocked by the scenes of destruction in Gaza, which served as a reminder of the huge task of reconstruction and ending the Israeli blockade.
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