Egypt bro­kers Fatah-ha­mas deal on Gaza

The Daily Telegraph - - World news - By Magdy Sa­maan in Cairo and Sara El­iz­a­beth Wil­liams in Am­man

NE­GO­TIA­TORS from the ri­val Pales­tinian fac­tions Ha­mas and Fatah have signed a deal that will bring a na­tional unity gov­ern­ment to the Gaza Strip, end­ing more than a decade of division.

The agree­ment, bro­kered by Egypt, al­lows the Fatah-led Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity gov­ern­ment to take over the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Gaza and its cross­ing­points from Ha­mas by Dec 1.

Lit­tle de­tail has been re­leased about how the unity gov­ern­ment will work, but Az­zam al-ah­mad, head of Fatah del­e­ga­tion, said the Pales­tinian pres­i­den­tial guard would be de­ployed to Gaza’s bor­der with Egypt by Nov 1 to “end the division for ever”.

Mr Ah­mad’s team had been told by Mah­moud Ab­bas, the Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity pres­i­dent, not to re­turn from Cairo with­out an agree­ment to “unify the Pales­tinian peo­ple”, he said.

Saleh al-arouri, who heads the Ha­mas del­e­ga­tion, echoed the theme. “Although we com­peted in pol­i­tics and, at un­for­tu­nate times, have been in con­flict ... it does not pre­vent us from be­ing broth­ers,” he said.

Gaza has been un­der Is­raeli block­ade since June 2007, after hard­line Ha­mas seized con­trol rather than share power with the more mod­er­ate Fatah. The re­sult­ing split has crip­pled de­vel­op­ment and stalled talks with Is­rael.

The area is one of the most densely pop­u­lated ar­eas on Earth, with around 1.75 mil­lion peo­ple who have en­dured elec­tric­ity and clean wa­ter short­ages and 40 per cent un­em­ploy­ment.

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