Fatah, Hamas sign accord for Palestinian reconciliation in Cairo

image used under creative commons

Cairo: Palestinian political rivals Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Thursday, as part of an effort to end a decade-long rift.

The rival Palestinian factions signed the deal after Hamas agreed to hand over administrative control of Gaza, including the key Rafah border crossing, a decade after seizing the enclave in a civil war.

The deal brokered by Egypt bridges a bitter gulf between the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, an Islamist movement.

Palestinian unity could also bolster Abbas’s hand in any revival of talks on a Palestinian state in the Israel-held territory. Internal Palestinian strife has been a major obstacle to peacemaking, with Hamas having fought three wars with Israel since 2008 and continuing to call for its destruction, The Dawn reported.

Hamas’s agreement to transfer administrative powers in Gaza to a Fatah-backed government marked a major reversal, prompted partly by its fears of financial and political isolation after its main patron and donor Qatar plunged in June into a major diplomatic dispute with key allies like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Qatar of supporting Islamist militants, which it denies, the report added.

According to Al Jazeera, at a press conference, head of the PA delegation Azzam al-Ahmad said the two sides agreed that the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza would be operated by the presidential guards of PA President Mahmoud Abbas by November 1.

“According security measures will be applied and adopted by the Palestinian Authority where the presidential guards will be spread all over the borders,” said al-Ahmad.

He added that under the instructions of Abbas, the two groups would not return to the occupied Palestinian territories unless they had a “final agreement that would put aside the rift forever … to achieve the Palestinian dream, put an end to occupation, and to have a Palestinian, independent, sovereign state with East Jerusalem as the capital”, the Al Jazeera report said.

Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of the Hamas political office, thanked Egypt for its “stable role”.

“The Palestinian issue is the Egyptian issue,” he said.

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across Gaza on Thursday in celebration of the unity pact, with loudspeakers on open cars blasting national songs, youths dancing and hugging and many waving Palestinian and Egyptian flags.

Click to comment
To Top