Thursday, February 2nd | 11 Shevat 5783

October 13, 2017 11:47 am

Palestinian Rivals Hamas, Fatah Reach Unity Deal in Cairo

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Hamas fighters. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – The Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has signed a reconciliation deal with its rival Fatah, which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, to end their decade-long spat.

The agreement, brokered by the Egyptian government in Cairo, will see Fatah lifting a number of punitive sanctions it imposed on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in return for the formation of a unity government beginning Dec. 1. This would pave the way for the Palestinian Authority to return to Gaza. The deal also allows for the joint administration of Gaza’s borders.

“I welcome the agreement reached between the Fatah and Hamas movements in Cairo,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was not in Cairo for the agreement, told AFP.

Since their bloody split in 2007, the two Palestinian factions have attempted numerous times to reconcile, with the latest try occurring in 2014. Despite the deal, a number of outstanding issues still remain between the factions, including a joint strategy for dealing with Israel, future elections and Hamas’s military wing.

According to a statement by Egypt’s State Information Service, the sides had “agreed on procedures” for the reconciliation agreement, but there still remains “divisions between the two sides.” Egypt will host another meeting on Nov. 21.

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