HAMAS SAYS DEAL REACHED WITH RIVAL FATAH ON GAZA
The leader of Hamas said on Thursday that his group has reached an agreement with the rival Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after Egyptian-brokered talks about the terms of control of the Gaza Strip.
Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement that details would be announced later in the day in Cairo. The development follows two days of Hamas-Fatah talks in Cairo under what Haniyeh called “generous Egyptian auspices.”
The talks marked the latest in a series of attempts to end a decade-long Palestinian territorial, political and ideological split that has crippled Palestinian statehood aspirations. In 2007, a year after winning Palestinian parliament elections, the Islamic militant Hamas evicted Abbas’ Western-backed Palestinian Authority from Gaza. Abbas was left with autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Over the past decade, each side deepened its control over its territory, making it increasingly difficult to forge compromises.
Abbas has insisted that he will only reassume control of Gaza if Hamas hands over power. Hamas, in turn, has said that it will not disarm — even if it is willing to give Abbas control of the Gaza government.
Sticking points in past and current talks included control over the arsenal of Hamas’ armed wing, the fate of thousands of Hamas’ public servants, arrangements for Gaza’s border crossings and a restructuring of the security forces. The union representing Hamas-allied civil servants in Gaza said a committee would discuss how to integrate into a new government.