Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Agreement on Gaza reached with Fatah, Hamas leader says

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah shakes hands with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City on October 2 Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah shakes hands with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City on October 2
Melinda Barton | 12 October, 2017, 10:55

Palestinian rival factions Hamas and Fatah have reached a deal over political reconciliation, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement on Thursday without providing further details.

Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement that details would be announced later in the day in Cairo.

The talks marked the latest in a series of attempts to end a decade-long Palestinian territorial, political and ideological split that has crippled Palestinian statehood aspirations.

A party to the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agreement would see forces of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which is dominated by Fatah, take control of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. 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.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have remained politically and administratively divided since 2007 when Hamas wrested control of the strip from Fatah following several days of street fighting.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

Abbas has insisted that he will only reassume control of Gaza if Hamas hands over power.

According to BBC, Egypt has been brokering reconciliation talks in Cairo.

"We congratulate our Palestinian people on the reconciliation agreement reached in Cairo". Meanwhile, Azzam Ahmad, one of the leaders of the Fatah delegation, told Reuters that while the negotiations would include the government offices in Gaza, the main focus would be on the topic of security in Gaza due to its controversial nature. It failed to function in Gaza, where Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008, because of disputes between Hamas and Fatah over its responsibilities.

Islamist movement Hamas is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union.

Reconciliation could also pose a dilemma for global efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal since Hamas has not recognised Israel, unlike the Abbas-led Palestine Liberation Organisation.