Sul­tanate wel­comes Ha­mas-Fatah agree­ment

UNITED FORCE: Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity forces take con­trol of the Rafah bor­der cross­ing be­tween Gaza and Egypt

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

CAIRO: Ri­val Pales­tinian fac­tions Ha­mas and Fatah signed an agree­ment on Thurs­day on end­ing a decade-long split fol­low­ing talks me­di­ated by Egypt in Cairo, with Pres­i­dent Mah­mud Ab­bas call­ing it a “fi­nal” ac­cord.

The Sul­tanate wel­comed the fi­nal agree­ment. The state­ment by the For­eign Min­istry hoped the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion agree­ment sup­port the ef­forts of na­tional unity to ob­tain all le­git­i­mate rights of Pales­tine. The state­ment also praised the role of Egypt for the suc­cess of this his­toric rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. Un­der the agree­ment, the West Bank-based Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity is to re­sume full con­trol of the Ha­mas-con­trolled Gaza Strip by De­cem­ber 1, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from Egypt’s gov­ern­ment. Ab­bas wel­comed the deal in com­ments to AFP and said he con­sid­ered it a “fi­nal agree­ment to end the division” — though many de­tails re­main to be re­solved and pre­vi­ous rec­on­cil­i­a­tion at­tempts have re­peat­edly failed.

It was signed in Cairo by new Ha­mas deputy leader Salah al Aruri and Az­zam al Ah­mad, the head of the Fatah del­e­ga­tion for the talks, at the head­quar­ters of Egypt’s in­tel­li­gence ser­vice, which over­saw the ne­go­ti­a­tions. Cel­e­bra­tions broke out in the Gaza Strip after the an­nounce­ment of the deal, with res­i­dents wav­ing flags of Egypt, Pales­tine, Fatah and Ha­mas.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions are now ex­pected to be held on form­ing a unity gov­ern­ment, with the var­i­ous Pales­tinian po­lit­i­cal move­ments in­vited to an­other meet­ing in Cairo on Novem­ber 21. An of­fi­cial from Ab­bas’ Fatah move­ment said the Pales­tinian pres­i­dent was plan­ning to soon travel to the Gaza Strip as part of the unity bid in what would be his first visit in a decade. Sanc­tions taken by Ab­bas against Ha­mas-con­trolled Gaza will also soon be lifted, the Fatah of­fi­cial said. The agree­ment would see Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity forces take con­trol of the Rafah bor­der cross­ing be­tween Gaza and Egypt.

One of the key stick­ing points will be the fate of Ha­mas’ 25,000-strong mil­i­tary wing. Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion could also pose a dilemma for ef­forts to reach an Is­raeli-Pales­tinian peace deal since Ha­mas has not recog­nised Is­rael, un­like the Ab­bas-led PLO.

— AFP

Pales­tini­ans wave the flags of Egypt, Pales­tine, Fatah and Ha­mas as they gather in Gaza City to cel­e­brate after ri­val Pales­tinian fac­tions Ha­mas and Fatah reached an agree­ment on end­ing a decade-long split on Thurs­day.

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