Hamas says reached deal with Palestinian rival Fatah

Oct 13, 2017, 00:36
Hamas says reached deal with Palestinian rival Fatah

Fatah and Hamas have reached a reconciliation agreement following the talks between the two rival Palestinian factions in Cairo, Hamas' political bureau chief announced this morning.

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

The agreement was signed by Hamas representative Saleh al-Arouri and Fatah negotiator Azzam al-Ahmed in a short ceremony today (October 12) following two days of talks brokered by Egypt.

Celebrations broke out in the Gaza Strip after the announcement of the deal, with residents waving flags of Egypt, Palestine, Fatah and Hamas.

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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.

"We also agreed that the [Ramallah-based Palestinian] government would operate Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt and all of Gaza's crossings with Israel", al-Ahmad added.

One of the key issues has been punitive measures taken by Abbas against Gaza in recent months, including reducing electricity payments that left the territory's residents with only a few hours of power a day. Abbas has said he would not take over Gaza until Hamas gave up its weapons.

The official was referring to the diplomatic Quartet on Middle East peace, which includes the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russian Federation.

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The readout of the Secretary-General's phone call comes as media outlets are reporting that Egyptian-facilitated talks in Cairo have led to a breakthrough in the talks among Palestinian parties on administration in the Gaza Strip.

Attempts at reconciliation in recent years fell apart.

Hamas does not recognise Israel and has fought three wars with the Jewish state since 2008.

Sticking points include control over the arsenal of Hamas' armed wing and the fate of thousands of Hamas public servants.

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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.

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