Palestinian unity gov't to operate Rafah border by Dec.1

Violet Powell
October 13, 2017

Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah on Thursday, signed a reconciliation deal in Egyptian capital Cairo and agreed to handover administrative control of Gaza to a Unity Government by December 1, 2017 as part of an effort to end a decade-long rift.

Hamas Chief, Ismail Haniyeh, said that "an agreement was reached today between Hamas and Fatah under Egyptian sponsorship". The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending a formal announcement in Cairo. In June 2007, its militants seized power in the Gaza Strip.

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement Thursday on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo, with president Mahmud Abbas calling it a "final" accord.

One committee would have four months to determine who among thousands of Hamas civil servants would be able to join the new government. The reports also said the Palestinian Authority would seek to merge Hamas' police officers in Gaza with the Palestinian security services.

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.

The crossing with Egypt may require more time for the handover, with construction work now underway there.

Key issues were not addressed in the Cairo talks.

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It's not clear if this will satisfy Abbas, or if the dispute will re-emerge later on.

Fatah's Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters that he welcomed the agreement.

"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.

In the current context, both sides might be more willing to reach a deal than in the past. The political split has been a major stain on his rule, particularly at a time when attempts to negotiate the terms of Palestinian statehood with Israel seem to be going nowhere.

Palestinian unity could also bolster Abbas's hand in any revival of talks on a Palestinian state in Israeli-occupied territory.

Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by Israel and the U.S., which has complicated efforts by the Palestinians to bring the groups together.

Other reports by PlayStation Move reviews

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