The Palestinian Security Forces operating under the dissolved Hamas led government in the Gaza Strip, prevented, on Sunday, two Fatah leaders, sent by President Mahmoud Abbas to hold talks with Hamas, from entering the coastal region. Abdullah al-Efranji, member of Fatah’s Central Committee, stated that as he and Rawhi Fattouh passed through the Israeli terminal and headed to the Palestinian side in Gaza, a number of security officers apologized to them and said that they have higher orders to prevent them from entering the Gaza Strip.

Al-Efranji added that President Abbas instructed them to hold talks with Hamas and several other factions in order to check on the situation of the residents in Gaza, and to try to prepare the atmosphere for reconciliation talks.

The visit was supposed to be held two weeks ago but was postponed due to internal Palestinian talks in Damascus.

Al-Efranji stated that Sunday’s incident does not serve the Palestinian national interests, and that Fatah is interested in restoring internal Palestinian unity.

“This visit was not planned as an alternative to Cairo talks”, he said. “It is a visit meant to boost the talks and to try to create a momentum for reconciliation and unity”.

Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry in Gaza held Fatah responsible for what it called “massacres committed by Fatah’s security forces against Hamas members in the West Bank”.

Government spokesperson, Taher al-Nunu, stated that Fateh must stop the political arrests and security cooperation with Israel, and must release all political prisoners, including Mrs. Tamam Abu al-So’oud, a known Islamic preacher who was recently arrested by the Palestinian Security Forces.