Palestinian ministers abruptly leave Gaza, cutting short rare visit meant to boost unity



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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinian ministers have unexpectedly cut short their rare visit to the Gaza Strip.

It was not clear what led the West Bank ministers to leave ahead of schedule on Monday. But rival Palestinian factions blamed each other for the abrupt departure.

The eight Cabinet ministers, all from the West Bank, arrived on Sunday. They were supposed to spend the week in Gaza in hopes of wresting more control from the Islamic Hamas movement.

Hamas took control of Gaza from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' forces in 2007. Abbas has since governed parts of the West Bank.

The rival factions agreed to form an apolitical unity government last year. But the unity effort has faltered, and Hamas remains firmly in control of Gaza.

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