Gaza City – After the summer war between Israel and Hamas, a senior U.N. envoy held a rare meeting with the No. 2 in the Islamic militant group to find ways to speed up Gaza reconstruction, Hamas said.

The group says Robert Serry, U.N. coordinator for the Middle East peace process, held talks with Moussa Abu Marzouk of Hamas at the U.N. headquarters in Gaza City on Thursday. Hamas is shunned by the West as a terror group.

U.N. officials would only say that Serry meets with Hamas officials when needed.

The U.N. is leading rebuilding efforts in Gaza, where the war damaged or destroyed thousands of homes.

Hamas seized Gaza in 2007 and remains in power there despite a unity agreement with the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.