Hamas Says Deal Reached in Palestinian Reconciliation

Saul Bowman
October 13, 2017

The talks between Fatah and Hamas were conducted after Egypt tried several times to resolve the conflict between the two factions and establish a unity government in Gaza and the West Bank.

Multiple previous attempts at reconciliation have failed but the latest Egyptian-led push received a major boost last month when Hamas agreed to cede civil power in Gaza.

Thursday's signing of the agreement in Cairo was reached after two days of Egyptian-brokered negotiations. Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on the territory, severely restricting Palestinians from leaving the territory and goods from entering.

The deal includes 3,000 members of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority's police force redeploying to Gaza, a member of the negotiating team told AFP on condition of anonymity. And he said a reconciliation deal makes peace harder to achieve.

"But this depends on the full implementation of the Cairo agreement, especially the unity government's assumption of all administrative and security responsibilities", al-Fitiani added. Abbas has said he would not take over Gaza until Hamas gave up its weapons.

MK Tzipi Livni called the reconciliation talks in Cairo "an opportunity for change", but also called on Hamas to disarm.

Sanctions taken by Abbas against Hamas-controlled Gaza will also soon be lifted, the Fatah official said.

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.

"Fatah and Hamas - Haniyeh was quoted as saying by local media - have reached an agreement at dawn today thanks to the generous Egyptian mediation".

The Islamic militant Hamas evicted Abbas' Western-backed Palestinian Authority from Gaza a decade ago, leading to a crippling territorial and political split among Palestinians. In 2014, the sides agreed to create a unity government, but no such government was ever formed.

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