Hamas hands control of Gaza crossings to Palestinian Authority

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Transfer of responsibility for key Gaza crossings part of reconciliation deal struck by rival Palestinian factions

The Palestinian militant group Hamas has formally relinquished security control of key crossings from the Gaza Strip to Egypt and Israel to its long-term rival, the Palestinian Authority, marking the first test of a fragile reconciliation accord agreed last month.

PA employees moved into the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings on the Israeli border and Rafah on the Egyptian border on Wednesday, as Hamas counterparts packed up equipment and departed.

Related: Tony Blair: ‘We were wrong to boycott Hamas after its election win’

The two main Palestinian parties – the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamist militant group Hamas – have run separate governments in the West Bank and Gaza respectively since 2007.

Related: Hamas and Fatah sign deal over control of Gaza Strip

Related: Israel will not negotiate with Palestinian unity government if Hamas is involved

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Source: israel
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