Rival Palestinian Groups Hamas, Fatah Reach Deal Over Control Of Gaza

Trevor Jackson
October 16, 2017

Britain's former prime minister Tony Blaire said that he and other world leaders were wrong to yield to Israeli pressure to impose an immediate boycott of Hamas after the militant group won Palestinian elections in 2006, reports the Guardian.

Under the terms of the deal, the Ramallah-based Palestinian unity government will assume political and administrative responsibility for the Gaza Strip no later than December 1.

And he said a reconciliation deal makes peace harder to achieve.

Khalil al-Hayyah said in an interview aired on Saturday night by the official Gaza-based Hamas-run al-Aqsa Satellite TV that "we can not move back after all ministries and corporations in Gaza had been handed over to the government", Xinhua reported. Hamas has said it hopes that by giving back power to the Palestinian Authority, life in Gaza can improve.

Fatah's spokesperson told reporters on Saturday that Hamas will hand over control of all crossing borders before November 1; and Hamas members may "take part in the crossing borders' administration office".

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is expected to head a meeting for his party's (Fatah) Central Committee in Ramallah Sunday, for the first time since the national reconciliation deal was singed between Fatah and Islamic Hamas movement in Cairo last Thursday.

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But the U.S. and Israel still retain other privileges as member states, which they will lose should they leave the organization. Also on Friday, France's former culture minister Audrey Azoulay was elected to head UNESCO in a cliffhanger vote.

"As a Palestinian citizen, my Prime Minister is Rami Hamdallah", said al-Hayyah, who stressed that Cairo agreement "was not new, but was a new Egyptian-sponsored round of dialogue that would lead to practical results".

Islamist movement Hamas is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

The crossing has remained largely closed in recent years.

Hamas has said they are not up for discussion, but has assured the Fatah negotiators that the military wing would maintain a low profile as part of any deal. Hamas and Israel fought three wars over the past decade.

Israeli site Haaretz quoted a Palestinian source as saying that both sides were keen to avoid undermining the deal, which came following years of tensions after Hamas' 2007 takeover of control in Gaza.

But the move was seen as mainly symbolic, with Hamas still effectively in charge in the Palestinian enclave of two million people bordered by Egypt, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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