Agreement on Gaza reached with Fatah, Hamas leader says

Agreement on Gaza reached with Fatah, Hamas leader says

The two major Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas today will announce the final reconciliation agreement in a press release in the Egyptian capital of Cairo at 1:00 PM today.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement on Thursday that both groups reached an agreement upon a mediation by Egypt.

Al-Nuno gave no further details on the content of the deal.

The pro-Hamas Palestinian Information Centre announced the agreement, saying details would be revealed at a news conference in Cairo at midday.

Delegates from rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah started reconciliation talks in the Egyptian capital on Tuesday to heal a decade-long rift.

Egypt has helped mediate several attempts to reconcile the two sides in the past and form a power-sharing unity government.

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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The move had been a key demand of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas whose Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority controls the West Bank.

Hamas's capture of Gaza in 2007 ended an earlier - if short-lived - unity government that was established after Hamas swept 2006 Palestinian legislative polls. "Unity and national reconciliation among the Palestinian people are our strategic option for moving forward".

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah then made a rare trip to Gaza.

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.

Meanwhile, Hamas Politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh told Egyptian television a day later that while his party would not cede control of its weapons, it would be prepared to make joint decisions with Fatah about when and how to use them.

Hamas has controlled Gaza since it ousted the PA in 2007 from the territory.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with Sissi in NY last month, denounced the reconciliation efforts, saying any future Palestinian government must disband the Hamas terror group's armed wing and sever its ties with Iran.

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