Hamas, Fatah Ink Deal on Palestinian Reconciliation

Oct 16, 2017, 00:44
Hamas, Fatah Ink Deal on Palestinian Reconciliation

Under Egyptian auspices, Palestine's two main political rivals, Fatah and Hamas, signed a reconciliation accord Thursday in Cairo, which denotes that the Concession Government will have administration over the Rafah border before December 1.

A reconciliation deal signed by Hamas and Fatah this week not only aims to relieve a decade-long rift between the two Palestinian groups but has also revived hopes of a positive change in the lives of people living in the Gaza Strip.

According to the newspaper, Hamas sources confirmed that the deal includes an "implicit understanding" to end confrontation in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Hamas said Sunday that it had handed over control of the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority, Haaretz reported citing Hamas deputy leader in Gaza, Khalil al-Hayya in an interview with the Hamas-affiliated Al-Aqsa television.

The Egyptian patrons of the reconciliation deal invited Palestinian factions for a national dialogue in Cairo on October 21, to discuss the remaining issues related to the decade long internal Palestinian division.

The talks in Cairo were apparently focused on enabling the Palestinian Authority to resume its operations in Gaza. The reports also said the Palestinian Authority would seek to merge Hamas' police officers in Gaza with the Palestinian security services. "This must be stressed ahead of expected worldwide pressure to resume negotiations in light of the Palestinian agreement". One of the key sticking points will be the fate of Hamas's 25,000-strong military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

Islamist movement Hamas is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. Hamas and Israel fought three wars over the past decade.

Hopes for the agreement, signed under the watchful eye of Egyptian intelligence, were tempered by the knowledge that many previous Palestinian initiatives have failed.

Hamas was given an ultimatum, either go against its charter by recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and promising to continue agreements made between its predecessors, Fatah, and Israel, or face an aid blockade. But instead, the global community should have tried to "pull Hamas into a dialogue", Blair said in an interview for Donald Macintyre's "Gaza: Preparing for Dawn", which is set to be released in November.