Palestinian rivals reach deal on governing Gaza Strip
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.