Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah reach key deal over Gaza

Posted October 13, 2017

Hamas says that it has reached a reconciliation deal with Fatah, ending a decade-long rift that has left the Palestinian Territories without a unified government.

Details of the agreement have not yet been released and a news conference was being planned for Thursday at 10:00 GMT in the Egyptian capital, where talks have been taking place since Tuesday.

The Western-backed mainstream Fatah party lost control of Gaza to Hamas in fighting in 2007.

Al-Ahmad also praised Egypt's role in helping achieve Palestinian national reconciliation and providing a venue for Hamas-Fatah talks. The deal would see both Hamas and Fatah form a Palestinian government to appoint the prime minister and ministerial positions.

Fatah, the more moderate of the two groups, previously controlled Gaza but was ousted by Hamas a decade ago, leaving Palestine split in two.

Meanwhile, Egypt invited the convening of a meeting in Cairo on 21/11/2017 for all the Palestinian factions that signed the Palestinian National Accord Agreement on May 4, 2011.

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The accord will see the consensus government officially take full administrative control of Gaza by December 1, according to a statement issued by Egypt's state media center.

Hamas and Fatah officials held two days of talks in Cairo this week about a Palestinian Authority return to Gaza. A senior Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip, Zakaria al-Agha, said that Abbas "will be in Gaza within less than a month".

Abbas has tried numerous times without success to fix the rift, in part to counter Israeli assertions that peace negotiations are pointless because he can't ensure that any treaty will also hold in Gaza.

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

Sticking points include control over the arsenal of Hamas' armed wing and the fate of thousands of Hamas public servants.