Ha­mas, Fatah sign rec­on­cil­i­a­tion ac­cord


Gaza/cairo: Ri­val Pales­tinian fac­tions Ha­mas and Fatah signed a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion deal on Thurs­day af­ter Ha­mas agreed to hand over ad­min­is­tra­tive con­trol of Gaza, in­clud­ing the key Rafah border cross­ing, a decade af­ter seiz­ing the en­clave in a civil war. The deal bro­kered by Egypt bridges a bit­ter gulf between the Western­backed main­stream Fatah party of Pales­tinian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas and Ha­mas, an Is­lamist move­ment des­ig­nated as a ter­ror­ist group by Western coun­tries and Is­rael. Pales­tinian unity could also bol­ster Ab­bas’s hand in any re­vival of talks on a Pales­tinian state in Is­raeli-oc­cu­pied ter­ri­tory.

In­ter­nal Pales­tinian strife has been a ma­jor ob­sta­cle to peace­mak­ing, with Ha­mas hav­ing fought three wars with Is­rael since 2008 and con­tin­u­ing to call for its de­struc­tion. REUTERS

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