Mideast Palestinians Road To Reconstruction
In this Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 photo, Palestinian Hamdan al-Najjar, looks in the rubble of his destroyed house in town of Khuzaa in the southern of G...
In this Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 photo, Palestinian Hamdan al-Najjar, looks in the rubble of his destroyed house in town of Khuzaa in the southern of Gaza Strip. More than five weeks after the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands of people whose homes were destroyed or badly damaged in the fighting still live in classrooms, storefronts and other crowded shelters. Yet despite their pressing needs, reconstruction efforts appear stymied by a continued Israeli-Egyptian border blockade of Gaza and an unresolved power struggle between the Islamic militant group Hamas and Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Members of the new Palestinian unity government are traveling from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip for their first Cabinet session there -- a meeting meant to signal the end of Hamas' absolute control of the territory.
The meeting is set for later Thursday. It comes three days ahead of an international pledging conference where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seeks $4 billion for Gaza's reconstruction following the summer Israel-Hamas war.
By meeting in Gaza for the first time, the Cabinet, which reports to the Western-backed Abbas, hopes to reassure donors it can lead reconstruction efforts.
It's not clear, though, how much authority it will have on the ground. Hamas, which seized Gaza from Abbas in 2007, says it will step aside, but refuses to disband its security forces.