In a symbolic step toward ending a decade-long rift with Hamas, the Palestinian prime minister visited the Gaza Strip on Monday, though major obstacles still lie in the way of rapprochement.A crowd of hundreds welcomed Rami Hamdallah, a representative of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, after he passed through the Erez border crossing from Israel to enter Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas.Footage of the event showed well-wishers cramming rooftops and balconies, and some waving yellow Fatah flags, as he made his through packed streets.“We came back to Gaza to end all signs of division and rebuild,” Hamdallah said in a televised news conference. “There will be no Palestinian state without Gaza.”Hamas seized power in Gaza in 2007 after bloody street fighting began when Fatah refused to recognize Hamas’s election win and give up control. Fatah, which runs the Palestinian Authority, has been responsible for administering areas of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. In recent months, Egypt has brokered talks aimed at bringing the two sides together.
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