World

Hamas: Reconciliation Deal Reached with Fatah

Hamas: Reconciliation Deal Reached with Fatah

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.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement on Thursday that both groups reached an agreement upon a mediation by Egypt.

The pro-Hamas Palestinian Information Centre announced the agreement, saying details would be revealed at a news conference in Cairo at midday.

Cairo is now leading efforts to heal a political split between Gaza-based Hamas group and the West Bank-based Fatah movement. "We make every effort possible to implement it to start a new chapter in the history of our people", Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem told Reuters.

Forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas lost control of Gaza in fighting with Hamas in 2007, leading to a crippling territorial and political split among Palestinians.




The negotiations on Egyptian interim finder began last Tuesday. Hamas and Fatah agreed in 2014 to form a national reconciliation government, but despite that deal, Hamas's shadow government continued to rule Gaza.

Last week, Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah visited Gaza for the first time since 2015 and his ministers officially took control of government departments in the territory. Multiple previous reconciliation talks have failed.

Struggling with the fallout from an Israeli-Egyptian border blockade since 2007, Hamas has found it increasingly hard to govern or provide basic services to Gaza's 2 million residents.

Officials said that apart from the implementation of the 2011 agreement and security, the Cairo talks would also cover issues such as setting a date for presidential and legislative elections and reforming the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is in charge of long-stalled peace efforts with Israel.

The deal would see Hamas, which has the most powerful armed Palestinian faction with an estimated 25,000 well-equipped fighters who have fought three wars with Israel since 2008.


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