The Dec. 16 Facebook message was simple yet powerful: “Imagine if President [Mahmoud] Abbas visited Gaza and took a look at his people there following the winter storm. Imagine how he would be received by Ismail Haniyeh. … People who have been drowning will certainly come out and welcome him,” she concluded.
The entry was by Rawya Shawa, a prominent independent member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. It is unclear if this was an innocent wish or if she was privy to any information about the state of Palestinian reconciliation. The entry coincided with two important phone calls, one between Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Abbas. That phone call followed what has been reported as a thank-you call from Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to the Palestinian president. Press reports have said that Meshaal thanked Abbas for his efforts since the snowstorm to help out Gazans by sending badly needed supplies and intervening with the Israelis to loosen Gaza’s blockade.