Rival Palestinian factions announce milestone reconciliation agreement
He thanked Egypt for its role in facilitating the agreement.
The Palestinian Authority will assume control of all border crossings into Gaza — from Israel and Egypt — by November 1, senior Fatah member Azzam al-Ahmad told the Cairo news conference. The new unity government is then slated to take full responsibility for Gaza a month later, according to a statement from Egypt’s State Information Service.
Further details of the deal reached between Fatah and Hamas were not disclosed. Control of Gaza’s borders was one of a number of issues on which the two sides had previously disagreed.
News of the potentially landmark deal emerged on social media early Thursday.
“The head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, announced that an agreement was reached at dawn today between Fatah and Hamas,” Hamas media spokesman Taher al-Nouno posted on his Facebook page.
Fatah Central Committee member Zakaria al-Agha wrote on Facebook: “The dark division has ended. Thank God and our congratulations to our Palestinian people everywhere.”
It remains unclear how this agreement addresses points where previous reconciliation attempts are believed to have fallen apart.
The Palestinian Authority had demanded, for example, that Hamas disband its military wing and relinquish security control to the Palestinian Authority, a point Hamas had refused to concede.
One day before the latest round of talks began, Abbas told a Fatah Revolutionary Council meeting that reconciliation was a “priority that we seek to achieve by all means possible.”
He said the two sides were going to Cairo “resolved and determined to make it happen and achieve concrete results in that respect.”
Their meeting followed a round of Egyptian-led indirect talks in Cairo in mid-September.
Ray of hope
The detente between Fatah and the Islamist Hamas could mean the end of a rift between the West Bank and Gaza that started in 2007, after Hamas violently evicted the Palestinian Authority from the coastal enclave.
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