Hamas, Fatah sign deal on Palestinian reconciliation

Haniyeh Hamdallah

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed a political reconciliation deal in Cairo on Thursday, Aljazeera TV channel has reported.

A Hamas official told Reuters that details are expected to be released at a noon news conference in Cairo, where unity talks between the rival factions began on Tuesday.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said on Sunday the Egypt-backed reconciliation talks between the PA and Hamas are "preparation" for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

In 2014 a deal was struck, however Hamas reneged on the agreement and continued to rule over Gaza.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has congratulated by phone Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, on the intra-Palestinian agreement, signed earlier Thursday in Cairo.

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.


"Hamas and Fatah will hold a fresh round of talks in Cairo on December 1 to assess implementation of the agreement", the source said.

The agreement is believed to include transfering administration of the border crossing between Gaza strip and Egypt to a unity government. A senior Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip, Zakaria al-Agha, said that Abbas "will be in Gaza within less than a month".

Hamas seized Gaza from Fatah in a near civil war in 2007 and the two factions have been at loggerheads ever since.

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. Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on the territory, severely restricting Palestinians from leaving the territory and goods from entering.

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.

"Israel will examine developments in the field and act accordingly", said a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.

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