MIDDLE EAST

Hamas delegation goes to Egypt for reconciliation talks

HAMAS DELEGATION GOES TO EGYPT FOR RECONCILIATION TALKS

A delegation from Palestinian group Hamas left the Gaza Strip on Monday for Egypt ahead of talks aimed at healing a decade-long rift with rival Fatah movement.

Led by Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwa, the high-profile delegation crossed the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, a Palestinian security source at the Gaza crossing authority said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.

Delegates from Hamas and Fatah are due to meet in Cairo on Tuesday as part of Egyptian efforts to heal the inter-Palestinian rift and allowing the West Bank-based unity government to assume its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip.

Last week, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah held his first cabinet meeting in Gaza since the unity government was drawn up in 2014, in a major step towards Palestinian reconciliation.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have remained politically and administratively divided since 2007, when Hamas wrested control of the strip from Fatah following several days of street fighting.

Hamas's capture of Gaza in 2007 ended an earlier -- if short-lived -- unity government that was established after Hamas swept 2006 Palestinian legislative polls.

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