Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Hamas: Deal reached with Palestinian rival Fatah

Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah reach agreement in Cairo Details of new Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal to be announced this afternoon
Andrew Cummings | 13 October, 2017, 00:44

Details of the deal will be made public at a news conference scheduled later for Thursday.

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah on Thursday signed a landmark reconciliation agreement in Egyptian capital Cairo.

Local media reports that Mr Abbas is to travel to Gaza in the next few weeks, which would mark his first visit to the Strip in 10 years.

Fatah, the more moderate of the two groups, previously controlled Gaza but was ousted by Hamas a decade ago, leaving Palestine split in two.

Security cooperation between Fatah and Hamas could include, among other things, the deployment of 3,000 Fatah security officers, who would join the Gaza police force over a period of 12 months.

Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas, said that a deal had been struck after two days of talks brokered by Egypt.

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.

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The crossing with Egypt may require more time for the handover, with construction work now underway there. Hamas and Fatah agreed to transfer administration of Gaza to Union government at latest until December 1st.

Israel viewed the Palestinian accord warily, saying it must abide by previous worldwide agreements and terms set out by the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators - including the recognition of Israel and the disarming of Hamas. 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.

Egypt has also agreed to provide fuel to the Gaza Strip for electricity generation.

Attempts at reconciliation in recent years fell apart.

Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's acting chief in Gaza, for his part, congratulated Abbas on the watershed agreement.

The two sides remain sharply at odds, however, over the future of Hamas's 25,000-strong armed wing, which the terror group says is nonnegotiable.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Palestinians against "bogus reconciliations", and reiterated Tel Aviv's demand for the disbandment of Hamas's military arm.

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