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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Members of the new Palestinian unity government are traveling from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip for their first Cabinet session there — a meeting meant to signal the end of Hamas' absolute control of the territory.
The meeting is set for later Thursday. It comes three days ahead of an international pledging conference where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seeks $4 billion for Gaza's reconstruction following the summer Israel-Hamas war.
By meeting in Gaza for the first time, the Cabinet, which reports to the Western-backed Abbas, hopes to reassure donors it can lead reconstruction efforts.
It's not clear, though, how much authority it will have on the ground. Hamas, which seized Gaza from Abbas in 2007, says it will step aside, but refuses to disband its security forces.