Fatah, Hamas sign reconciliation deal in Cairo

Jerome Frank
October 13, 2017

The Palestinian Authority and Islamist movement Hamas reached an agreement to reconcile after a decade of mistrust, but offered few details on security arrangements in the Gaza Strip that had been key to negotiations.

Fatah and Hamas have signed a deal today aimed at bringing the two Palestinian organisations together.

The Western-backed mainstream Fatah party lost control of Gaza to Hamas in fighting in 2007.

Egypt has previously attempted to help Hamas and Fatah create a united government for Gaza and the West Bank.

Meanwhile, Egypt invited the convening of a meeting in Cairo on 21/11/2017 for all the Palestinian factions that signed the Palestinian National Accord Agreement on May 4, 2011.

Hamas must disarm and recognise Israel under a Palestinian unity deal announced on Thursday with its rival Fatah aimed at ending their decade-long split, an Israeli government official said.

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Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas told AFP on Thursday, "I welcome the agreement".

According to the text of the agreement signed by both parties, Egypt mediated the deal in order to "achieve Palestinian unity in order to. establish an independent Palestinian state" in Gaza and the Israel-occupied West Bank.

Struggling with the fallout from the border blockade, Hamas has found it increasingly hard to govern or provide basic services, such as electricity.

Previous attempts at reconciliation have repeatedly failed, and many analysts are treating the latest bid with caution, waiting to see if actual change will occur on the ground. A small number of people, mainly medical patients, business people and aid workers, use the Erez crossing to enter Israel, usually bound for the West Bank. He said Abbas' presidential guard would assume control of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, but did not specify a timetable.

A major sticking point has been the Hamas military wing and its arsenal, which Hamas has said is not up for discussion.

Reconciliation could also pose a dilemma for global efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal since Hamas has not recognised Israel, unlike the Abbas-led Palestine Liberation Organisation.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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