Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas say progress made in reconciliation deal

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The Palestinian group Hamas says it has reached an agreement with rival group Fatah, ending a decade-long rift.

"Fatah and Hamas reached an agreement at dawn today upon a generous Egyptian sponsorship", Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement.

Al-Nuno gave no further details on the content of the deal.

A Hamas official said details were expected to be released at a 12pm news conference in Cairo, where unity talks between the rival factions began on Tuesday.


Fatah spokesman Osama Qawasmeh said Tuesday that the talks, which are being held under the auspices of the Egyptian Intelligence Directorate, would focus on enabling the PA to operate in Gaza. Hamas's reversal was the most significant step toward Palestinian unity since the government was formed in 2014.

Palestine's ambassador to Egypt and its Permanent Representative to the Arab League Jamal Shobaki also said that President Mahmoud Abbas has issued instructions to the Fatah delegation to make every effort to achieve national reconciliation and end the division.

"We are meeting in Cairo in hopes of formulating a roadmap titled National Reconciliation", wrote Hamas member Izzat Reshiq on his Twitter account earlier this week.

Multiple previous attempts at reconciliation have failed but the latest Egyptian-led push received a major boost last month when Hamas agreed to cede civil power in Gaza.


Sissi has stressed that he believes reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas could pave the way for Middle East peace. It failed to function in Gaza, where Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008, because of disputes between Hamas and Fatah over its responsibilities.

But Tayseer Nasrallah, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, told Reuters: "There are hard challenges and it will take time to overcome them".

The split has complicated any potential peace negotiations with Israel, as Hamas remains committed to the Jewish state's destruction and has vowed it will not hand over its arsenal as part of a reconciliation deal with the PA.


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