Palestinian Authority, Hamas Reach Reconciliation Deal After 10-Year Feud

Pauline Gross
October 13, 2017

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

He went on to say that, according to the terms of the deal, Presidential Guard units linked to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) would be deployed along Gaza's southern border with Egypt no later than November 1.

Since then, the relations between the two rival factions have been very tense and all attempts to reconcile them over the past years have failed to bring fruit.

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

Egypt, which hosted a series of meetings between both parties over the past two days, invited Palestinian factions who signed the 2011 Accord to hold their coming meeting on November 21, 2017, said the statement. Hamas and Israel fought three devastating wars over the past decade.

A permanent opening of the Rafah crossing would mean an end to the crippling Gaza border blockade which prevents free trade and bars the vast majority of Gaza's 2 million people from leaving the territory. Unemployment is high, and electricity and clean water are scarce. Hamas and Fatah agreed in 2014 to form a national reconciliation government, but despite that deal, Hamas's shadow government continued to rule the Gaza Strip.

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The Fatah official stressed that President Mahmoud Abbas instructed the delegation not to return without a reconciliation deal. Another committee would merge 3,000 Palestinian Authority loyalists into Gaza's Hamas-run police force.

But one central issue has yet to be discussed: the fate of Hamas' militant wing and cache of rockets and weapons.

The most contentious question between the rival Palestinian factions that announced a reconciliation deal Thursday is still up in the air.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with Sissi in NY last month, denounced the reconciliation efforts, saying any future Palestinian government must disband the Hamas terror group's armed wing and sever its ties with Iran.

The U.S. says it wants the Palestinian Authority to take control of Gaza again.

Other reports by GizPress

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