As Hamas took control of the Gaza strip in the summer of 2007, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued instructions to escaping Fatah members, and members of the security apparatus, to one day return to their Gaza posts.
Clashes erupting then between the rival factions had resulted in the exodus of many officials from Gaza to the West Bank. This April, Abbas approved the return of 70 security agency members immediately after signing on to the national reconciliation agreement between the two parties.
Abbas believes his decision will boost the status of Fatah movement, which suffered a major setback after Hamas took control of the strip.
Informed sources have told Ahram Online that the return of Fatah elements to Gaza will follow the next meeting of the two parties, expected to take place soon.
However, sources added that Fatah officials are not enthusiaistic to go back before the full implementation of the reconciliation agreement. For their part, Fatah officials are afraid of any kind of vengeful acts in response to violent confrontations between the parties, resulting in the deaths and injuries of hundreds of Palestinians in the second half of 2007.
At a later date, the Palestininan Authority is also expected to call for the return of Fatah officials who escaped to Egypt during the clashes.