Rival Palestinian Groups Hamas, Fatah Reach Deal Over Control Of Gaza

Rival Palestinian Groups Hamas, Fatah Reach Deal Over Control Of Gaza

Rival Palestinian Groups Hamas, Fatah Reach Deal Over Control Of Gaza

The Fatah and Hamas delegations in Cairo have officially signed a reconciliation agreement on Thursday to end a decade-long political split. Hamas and Fatah agreed to transfer administration of Gaza to Union government at latest until December 1st.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said on Sunday the Egypt-backed reconciliation talks between the PA and Hamas are "preparation" for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Palestine's civil discord started in 2007 when Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip while the West Bank territories fell under Fatah's control.

He also said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - who heads both the PA and the Ramallah government - had instructed members of the Fatah delegation to "end the state of Palestinian division once and for all".

The meetings in Cairo are centred around implementing the 2011 Cairo Agreement between the two political parties, in hopes of ending the 10-year political schism.

He also pointed out that the government will manage the institutions and bodies of all ministries without exception, as well as the full agreement on the management of all crossings, whether with Israel or Egypt, most importantly the Rafah crossing.

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Islamist movement Hamas is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union.

The crossing has remained largely closed in recent years.

Yahya Sinwar, Hamas's acting chief in Gaza, for his part, congratulated Abbas on the watershed agreement.

The new deal is understood to cover border crossing arrangements, Hamas' arsenal and the livelihoods of thousands of public servants.

Struggling with the fallout from the border blockade, Hamas has found it increasingly hard to govern or provide basic services, such as electricity. Egypt has been brokering the reconciliation talks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Palestinians against "bogus reconciliations", and reiterated Tel Aviv's demand for the disbandment of Hamas's military arm.

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