Mahmoud Abbas has stated, on Wednesday, that he is willing to travel to the Gaza Strip to meet with Ismail Haniyya of Hamas, in an attempt to restart the stalled reconciliation attempts between the two parties.Abbas also stated, speaking in Ramallah, that he will not run for re-election and that he still intends to hold elections within the next 6 months.

The speech was made in response to the popular demonstrations, attended by thousands, at various locations in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, calling for unity of all Palestinian peoples, and an end to the political rivalry between Hamas and Fatah.

Following these protests, Hamas leader, Ismael Hanniyeh invited Abbas to come to Gaza to re-knew unity efforts, a call that Abbas has apparently heeded, although Hamas stated that they have not been in direct contact with Abbas’ office.

If talks do proceed, this will mark the first time that Abbas has visited the Gaza Strip since 2007.