Agreement on Gaza reached with Fatah, Hamas leader says

Haniyeh Hamdallah

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah shakes hands with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have reached agreement on aspects of their reconciliation bid during talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo this week, Hamas said on Thursday.

The deal was never implemented.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have remained politically and administratively divided since 2007 when Hamas wrested control of the strip from Fatah following several days of street fighting.

According to Reuters, the details regarding the agreement are expected to be revealed during a press conference this afternoon in Cairo, where the talks between the two rival Palestinian factions took place.

The move was a major reversal for Hamas and was partially prompted by the group's fears of potential financial and political isolation after its main donor Qatar suffered a major diplomatic crisis with key allies.

The union representing Hamas-allied civil servants in Gaza said Thursday that as part of an emerging deal, a committee would discuss over the next four months how they would be integrated into a new government. But Hamas would still have the most powerful armed Palestinian faction, whose estimated 25,000 well-equipped fighters have fought three wars with Israel since 2008.

Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh cut Value-Added Tax on petrol and diesel
Without such a cess, the government will have to take a huge hit on its revenues which could impact infrastructure spending. Because of this move, the state government will suffer a loss of Rs 2,316 crore annually.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the talks in Cairo had been "serious and deep".

Palestine's ambassador to Egypt and its Permanent Representative to the Arab League Jamal Shobaki also said that President Mahmoud Abbas has issued instructions to the Fatah delegation to make every effort to achieve national reconciliation and end the division.

Sissi has stressed that he believes reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas could pave the way for Middle East peace.

But Tayseer Nasrallah, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, told Reuters: "There are hard challenges and it will take time to overcome them".

Egypt has been keen to improve security in the Sinai Peninsula which borders Gaza and where jihadist rebels have fought a long-running insurgency.

Latest News