Ri­vals reach ini­tial deal on gov­ern­ing Gaza

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - NATION / WORLD -

CAIRO (AP) — Pales­tinian ri­vals Fatah and Ha­mas reached a pre­lim­i­nary agree­ment Thurs­day that could re­turn the Gaza Strip to Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas’ con­trol and ease a decade-old Is­raeli-Egyp­tian block­ade of the coastal ter­ri­tory, but past at­tempts at unity have foundered on key is­sues that re­main un­re­solved.

The deal was an­nounced at a news con­fer­ence in Cairo, where ne­go­tia­tors have been meet­ing, and Ha­mas leader Is­mail Haniyeh said it was reached un­der “gen­er­ous Egyp­tian aus­pices,” with­out elab­o­rat­ing. Egypt has been ea­ger to show progress in unity talks, and both Pales­tinian fac­tions face pres­sure to re­solve their dif­fer­ences.

The sides have tried, and failed, to reach rec­on­cil­i­a­tion sev­eral times be­fore, but even with such skep­ti­cism Pales­tini­ans cel­e­brated Thurs­day’s an­nounce­ment.

“This is the dream and the am­bi­tion of ev­ery pa­tri­otic and hon­or­able Pales­tinian, to reach uni­fi­ca­tion,” said Ra­mal­lah res­i­dent Jawad Abu Shaikha.

In Gaza, res­i­dents took to the streets to re­joice.

“I hope there will be im­ple­men­ta­tion on the ground for the is­sues agreed upon, be­cause we are truly tired from the di­vi­sion and poverty,” said Waed Me­sameh.

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