Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah reach agreement in Cairo

Lucy Bush
October 13, 2017

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.

In a press statement, Egypt expressed its deep appreciation to the Fatah and Hamas movements for the positive spirit of the two delegations which led to reaching this agreement.

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

The agreement calls for Abbas's presidential guard to assume responsibility of the Rafah crossing on November 1, and for the full handover of administrative control of Gaza to the unity government to be completed by December 1.

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Abbas has tried numerous times without success to fix the rift, in part to counter Israeli assertions that peace negotiations are pointless because he can't ensure that any treaty will also hold in Gaza.

Two weeks before this, another meeting will be held in Cairo (on November 14) between representatives of all Palestinian factions, the same source said, adding that this meeting would discuss "mechanisms" for implementing the reconciliation agreement.

During meetings in the Egyptian capital - whose "atmosphere" was reportedly described as "excellent" by both sides - important issues were discussed including government matters, borders and the salaries of public employees. In June 2007, its militants seized power in the Gaza Strip. Multiple previous reconciliation efforts have failed. The ceremony was held in the presence of Egypt's general intelligence chief, Khaled Fawzy.

The Fatah official stressed that President Mahmoud Abbas instructed the delegation not to return without a reconciliation deal.

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

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

Attempts at reconciliation in recent years fell apart.

Al-Ahmed highly appreciated the Egyptian role and keenness to achieve Palestinian reconciliation, stressing that Egypt is the sponsor of the Arab national security, including the Palestinian security.

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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.

Other reports by Info About Network

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