Hamas, Fatah Ink Deal on Palestinian Reconciliation

Hamas, Fatah Ink Deal on Palestinian Reconciliation

"The legitimate government, the government of consensus, will return according to its responsibilities and according to the law", Fatah delegation chief Azzam Al-Ahmed said at the signing ceremony in Cairo.

An official from Abbas's Fatah movement said the PA president was planning to soon travel to the Gaza Strip as part of the unity bid in what would be his first visit in a decade.

Arouri told al-Quds newspaper that Hamas and Fatah agreed to hold "deep and detailed" discussions in Gaza between security officials from both factions.

The figure is however a fraction of the more than 20,000 police officers employed separately by Hamas.

Another party to the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agreement would see Palestinian Authority forces take control of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip after bloody clashes with Fatah in 2007.

The talks began on October 10 and were held at the headquarters of Egyptian intelligence in Cairo.

The Gaza crossings was a thorny issues at the talks because Hamas has had control of them for the past ten years. It comprises the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russian Federation.

Analysts said the deal is more likely to stick than earlier ones, given Hamas's growing isolation and realization of how hard Gaza, its economy hobbled by border blockades and infrastructure shattered by wars with Israel, was to govern and rebuild.

The crossing has remained largely closed in recent years.

After the breakthrough in Cairo, Arab and Palestinian media reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to visit the Gaza Strip within a month.

She reiterated that having Gaza and the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority is critical for reaching a negotiated two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One of the key sticking points will be the fate of Hamas's 25,000-strong military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that Israel "objects to any reconciliation that does not include" accepting worldwide agreements, recognizing Israel and disarming Hamas.

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