Egypt’s government says rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have agreed to hand over the full administrative control of the besieged Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority (PA) by December 1, as the two sides inked a historic reconciliation deal in the Egyptian capital Cairo to put an end to their decade-long rivalry, presstv.ir reported.
Fatah and Hamas have been at odds ever since the latter scored a landslide victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006. Since 2007, Hamas has been governing Gaza while Fatah has been based in the autonomous parts the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The two rival Palestinian factions finally agreed on a unity government in April 2014, but it fell apart months later.
Last month, however, Hamas announced that it had accepted key reconciliation conditions offered by Abbas and underlined its “desire to achieve national unity.”
The resistance movement also invited the Palestinian unity government to return to Gaza, dissolving an administrative committee that runs the Israeli-besieged territory as a step towards fresh national elections in Gaza and the West Bank.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh also expressed his satisfaction with a potential Palestinian rapprochement, saying, “There might be some difficulties on the road, but we will conclude reconciliation, regardless of the cost.”
A top Fatah official, speaking on condition of anonymity, also announced that Abbas would visit the Gaza Strip for the first time in a decade later this month.
There will be another meeting in Cairo, due to be held on November 21, with various Palestinian political movements invited.
The Fatah-Hamas reconciliation efforts have enraged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who stressed that the regime would not accept "imaginary appeasement where the Palestinian side is reconciling at the expense of our existence.”
The Israeli premier has already said that he would put his stamp on reconciliation only if Hamas recognizes Israel, disbands its military wing and cuts ties with Iran.