Pales­tinian ri­vals reach deal on gov­ern­ing Gaza Strip

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS -

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

The deal was an­nounced 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 skep­ti­cism Pales­tini­ans hailed the an­nounce­ment.

A se­nior Pales­tinian of­fi­cial said Ab­bas, the leader of Fatah, might visit Gaza in the com­ing weeks, depend­ing on the suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of the agree­ment.

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