Palestinian Authority official in Gaza to implement ‘first step’ in reconciliation deal

The Palestinian Authority’s top official for border crossings visited the Gaza Strip on Monday after Hamas agreed to hand over control of the borders under a reconciliation deal, AFP reports. The agreement signed in Egypt last week is aimed at returning control of the Gaza Strip to the PA, a decade after the beginning of a civil conflict between Fatah and Hamas. Nazmi Muhanna said he had been sent by President Mahmoud Abbas to implement the “first step” of the agreement, which is “the taking over of the crossings.” Hamas has controlled Gaza since seizing it in the 2007 conflict with Abbas’s Fatah.