Palestinian factions agree to reconcile
The main Palestinian factions signed a reconciliation agreement Thursday that aims to mend their decade-old rift and places Gaza and the West Bank under one government for the first time since 2007.
Under the agreement, the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, would in coming weeks take administrative control of Gaza and police its borders, merging its security forces and ministries with those of Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls the coastal strip.
While both sides hailed the agreement as a significant step toward uniting the Palestinian territories — and potential relief for Gazans suffering dire shortages of electricity and medical supplies — it left many thornier issues unresolved, including the fate of the main Hamas militia and the network of tunnels under Gaza used by fighters and smugglers.
Officials from both sides stressed that the agreement, brokered by Egypt, was a first step, and that much depends on how events unfurl on the ground in the coming weeks.