Palestinians Strike Gaza Unity Deal After Marathon Cairo Talks

Hamas had a compromise with conquest

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have reached agreement on aspects of their reconciliation bid during talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo this week, Hamas said on Thursday.

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 Fatah official stressed that President Mahmoud Abbas instructed the delegation not to return without a reconciliation deal.

Al-Ahmad also praised Egypt's role in helping achieve Palestinian national reconciliation and providing a venue for Hamas-Fatah talks.

A Palestinian man and his daughter walk past a graffiti reading in Arabic "Division" in Gaza City, on September 17, 2017, after Hamas announced it had agreed to steps toward resolving a decade-long split with the Fatah movement and was ready to hold elections.

The deal, reportedly concluded at dawn this morning, includes a provision for Gaza to be handed over to a unity government, led by Fatah, by December 1.

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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.

Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of Hamas's influential Political Bureau, also voiced appreciation for the role played by Egypt in sponsoring inter-Palestinian dialogue.

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.

Hamas does not recognise Israel and has fought three wars with the Jewish state since 2008.

Last week, Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah visited Gaza for the first time since 2015 and his ministers took formal control of government departments in the territory.

Ahead of the negotiations in Cairo, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu warned against "fake reconciliations" and stated once again that Israel demands the demilitarization of Hamas.

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