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Hamas, Fatah reach preliminary deal on governing Gaza

13 October 2017, 12:43 | Marta Robbins

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah shakes hands with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City on October 2

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah shakes hands with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City on October 2

Al-Ahmad also praised Egypt's role in helping achieve Palestinian national reconciliation and providing a venue for Hamas-Fatah talks.

Fayez Abu Eita, a spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Movement and member of its delegation in Cairo, said details would be announced at the news conference.

Al-Ahmad, who is also the head of Fatah delegation for the Cairo talks, said what was agreed upon two weeks ago under the auspices of Egypt is empowering the legitimate government to operate in accordance with its powers in accordance with the Basic Law in effect in the West Bank.

Palestinian media reported that the two sides agreed to form a committee to solve, within four months, one very local problem that has dogged previous attempts at reconciliation: what to do about Hamas bureaucrats who will be out of a job when the Palestinian Authority resumes its rule in Gaza.

A split between Palestine's two major forces, Fatah and Hamas, occurred after the parliamentary elections in Palestine in 2006 when Hamas won.

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

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The deceased have been identified as 82-year-old Urmila Jindal, and her daughters Sangeeta, 56, Nupur, 48, and Anjali, 38. Apart from that, the property is occupied by seven families of Urmila's husband's nephews (35 to 40 people).

"An agreement was reached today between Hamas and Fatah under Egyptian sponsorship", a statement from Hamas leader Ismail Haniya's office said, without giving further details.

Egypt has kept the Rafah border crossing closed for most of the last decade. Abbas has said he would not take over Gaza until Hamas gave up its weapons.

The crossing has remained largely closed in recent years.

Sticking points include control over the arsenal of Hamas' armed wing and the fate of thousands of Hamas public servants. Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on the territory, severely restricting Palestinians from leaving the territory and goods from entering.

Reconciliation could also pose a dilemma for worldwide efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal since Hamas has not recognised Israel, unlike the Abbas-led Palestine Liberation Organisation.



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