Leaders of the Fateh and Hamas movements held on Friday evening a meeting in Gaza Strip in which they discussed efforts to implement the Reconciliation Agreement signed in Cairo. Dr. Nabil Shaath, who headed the Fateh delegation to Gaza, described the meeting as successful adding that different issues regarding the situation of the residents in Gaza and the West Bank were discussed in detail.

Shaath added that he will be meeting Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyya, on Sunday following a Saturday meetings with leaders of different factions in Gaza.

The Friday Hamas-Fateh meeting was held at the Ad-Deera Hotel, on the Gaza shore.

Besides Shaath, the Fateh delegation included Diab Al-Loh and Mohammad Al Nahhal.

The Hamas delegation consisted of Ismail Al Ashqar and Jamal Abu Hashim.

Shaath stated that the two parties discussed the means to implement the unity deal, the issue of political prisoners held by Fateh and Hamas, passports, freedom of the press, and other essential issues.

Referring to the possibility of President Mahmoud Abbas visiting Gaza, Shaath stated that Abbas will be visiting Gaza after a new government in formed.

The Fateh leader further welcomed the Egyptian decision to open the Rafah Border Terminal, and added that Palestinian unity encouraged Egypt to open the terminal and that this unity will also encourage investors to rebuild Gaza.

He said that the Palestinians do not object to international presence on the Rafah Terminal to monitor its operations.

Salim Sharaab, head of a committee that tries to help Palestinians denied passports, said that Shaath vowed to end the crisis of more than 400 Palestinians, on humanitarian basis. The rest of the cases would be discussed later on.

Sharaab added that Shaath did not deny that hundreds of Palestinians were denied passports due to security considerations, and that he expressed sympathy with them.

Yet, Sharaab stated that sympathy is no enough as, as according to statistics of the Interior Ministry in Gaza, there are 30.000 Palestinians who are denied passports.

In Gaza, Shaath met with West Bank Palestinians who were deported by Israel to the Gaza Strip following the 2002 Church of Nativity siege in Bethlehem. Dozens were deported to Gaza while 13 were deported to Europe.

Fahmi Canaan, spokesperson of the deportees in Gaza, said that they discussed the efforts to raise this issue on humanitarian basis among the international community to ensure the return of all Palestinians expelled from their cities and their homeland.

They also handed Shaath a letter to be delivered to president Mahmoud Abbas urging him to act on their return to Bethlehem, and to enable their families to visit them in the meanwhile.