Hamas, Fatah reach preliminary deal on governing Gaza

13 October, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • People gather as the convoy of Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah arrives to take control of Gaza from Hamas in the northern part of the territory

Cairo is now leading efforts to heal a decade-long political split between Gaza-based Hamas and the West Bank-based Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The announcement comes after representatives from Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) convened in Cairo on Tuesday to implement a unity agreement that was signed in 2011 but not put into action, Al Jazeera reported.

The two sides, meeting in Cairo for talks brokered by Egypt, said in a joint statement Thursday that the West Bank-based authority would by early December regain full administration of Gaza, which has been under Hamas control since 2007.

The Secretary-General also reiterated that the United Nations stands ready to continue working with Palestinian authorities and the region to support the Government in assuming its responsibilities in Gaza.

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said he wants weapons to be under unified control.

Israel viewed the Palestinian accord warily, saying it must abide by previous global agreements and terms set out by the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators - including the recognition of Israel and the disarming of Hamas.

Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah delegation, said Abbas' Palestinian Authority would assume control of the crossing points between Gaza and Israel by 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.

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Struggling with the fallout from the border blockade, Hamas has found it increasingly hard to govern or provide basic services, such as electricity.

A major sticking point has been the Hamas military wing and its arsenal, which Hamas has said is not up for discussion.

But the move was seen as mainly symbolic, with Hamas still effectively in charge in the Palestinian enclave of two million people bordered by Egypt, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea.

"Israel will examine developments in the field and act accordingly", said a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.

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