Even before the arrival of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) delegation to the Gaza Strip to discuss reconciliation between the Fatah and Hamas movements, the two sides had begun exchanging threats.
The delegation representing Fatah originally planned to travel from Ramallah in the West Bank to Gaza once Israel re-opened the Erez crossing that had been closed last week for Passover. But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dropped a bombshell on Hamas leaders. Addressing Palestinian ambassadors gathered in Bahrain on April 13, Abbas said he was about to make far-reaching moves that would cement the split between Gaza and the West Bank. Abbas noted that Hamas had set up an administrative committee to run affairs in Gaza to replace the Palestinian government headed by Rami Hamdallah, and was thus perpetuating its rule in the Strip.