Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Hamas, Fatah reach Palestinian reconciliation deal

Hamas, Fatah reach Palestinian reconciliation deal

The leader of Hamas said Thursday his group has reached an agreement with the rival Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after Egyptian-brokered talks about the terms of control of the Gaza Strip.

"Fatah and Hamas reached an agreement at dawn today upon a generous Egyptian sponsorship", Mr Haniyeh said.

Al-Nuno gave no further details on the content of the deal.

A Hamas official told Reuters that details are expected to be released at a news conference in Cairo.

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's reversal was the most significant step toward Palestinian unity since the government was formed in 2014.

Hamas's capture of Gaza in 2007 ended an earlier - if short-lived - unity government that was established after Hamas swept 2006 Palestinian legislative polls.

In return, Cairo has pressed Hamas to move forward on reconciliation with rival Fatah and the two sides have launched into the negotiations.

Fatah and Hamas delegates began meeting in Cairo on Tuesday for Egypt-mediated talks on bringing the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) government, which is aligned with Fatah.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah then made a rare trip to Gaza. Israel's enmity with Hamas means greater unity with Fatah is unlikely to help any future efforts for a peace deal with Israel.

The split has complicated any potential peace negotiations with Israel, as Hamas remains committed to the Jewish state's destruction and has vowed it will not hand over its arsenal as part of a reconciliation deal with the PA.

The latest reconciliation efforts come as US President Donald Trump has sought to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and met separately with Abbas and Netanyahu on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in NY last month.

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