Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
World Media | By June Phelps

Hamas, Fatah sign reconciliation deal in Cairo

Hamas, Fatah sign reconciliation deal in Cairo

Hamas says that it has reached a reconciliation deal with Fatah, ending a decade-long rift that has left the Palestinian Territories without a unified government.

The sides also agreed on handing over the Rafah crossing on the border between Egypt and Gaza to the presidential guard, controlled by the Palestinian administration in the West Bank.

Israel opposes reconciliation agreements between rivals Hamas and Fatah if Hamas doesn't do away with its armed wing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Thursday.

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across Gaza on Thursday in celebration of the unity pact, with loudspeakers on open cars blasting national songs, youths dancing and hugging, and many waving Palestine and Egyptian flags.

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"Hamas will spare no effort to turn this agreement into a reality with a view to confronting the Zionist project and establishing a sovereign state of Palestine", al-Arouri asserted.

With Hamas in control, conditions in Gaza deteriorated.

Local media reports that Mr Abbas is to travel to Gaza in the next few weeks, which would mark his first visit to the Strip in 10 years.

"But this depends on the full implementation of the Cairo agreement, especially the unity government's assumption of all administrative and security responsibilities", al-Fitiani added. A senior Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip, Zakaria al-Agha, said that Abbas "will be in Gaza within less than a month".

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Sissi has stressed that he believes reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas could pave the way for Middle East peace.

Two weeks before this, another meeting will be held in Cairo (on November 14) between representatives of all Palestinian factions, the same source said, adding that this meeting would discuss "mechanisms" for implementing the reconciliation agreement.

Hamas Chief, Ismail Haniyeh, said that "an agreement was reached today between Hamas and Fatah under Egyptian sponsorship".

The Western-backed mainstream Fatah party lost control of Gaza to Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the West and Israel, in fighting in 2007.

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