Fatah and Hamas Reach Reconciliation Agreement
Russian Presidential Press and Information Service
Oct. 12, 2017 (EIRNS)—Talks between the two rival Palestinian organizations, Hamas and Fatah, taking place in Cairo under the sponsorship of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Egyptian Intelligence, have yielded an agreement on how the two will cooperate in the Gaza Strip. Details were to be released at a press conference later today.
Signed in the presence of Egyptian General Intelligence Director Khaled Fawzy, the agreement includes deployment of 3,000 Palestinian Authority police officers in Gaza, to patrol the borders with Israel and also the Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, and the handover of Gaza administration from Hamas to the Palestinian unity government no later than Dec. 1. At a press conference following the signing ceremony, Fatah leader Azzam Ahmad, who signed the agreement with Hamas delegation head Saleh Arouri, said,
"The Rafah terminal will be improved and refurbished, and the presidential guards of the P.A. will be stationed along the Gaza borders by Nov. 1."
The talks are part of the Egyptian President’s effort to achieve a Palestinian reconciliation as a necessary step to restarting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
"The agreement will allow the national unity government to fully carry out its tasks in both the Gaza strip and the West Bank of Jordan," the head of the Fatah delegation said, according to Sputnik.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the agreement marked a "final end to division" of the Palestinian political movements. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said:
"We’ll go to any length to implement the agreement and turn over a new leaf in the annals of our people, forever closing the book on our divisions. The most important thing is the agreement’s implementation."
The talks began on Oct. 10 and were held at the headquarters of Egyptian intelligence in Cairo. The Hamas delegation was represented by newly-elected leader Saleh al-Arouri, Hamas Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar, and holder of the prisoners’ portfolio Rawhi Mushtaha. The Fatah side was represented by the holder of the reconciliation portfolio Azzam al-Ahmad and head of Palestinian intelligence, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s confidant Majid Faraj.
Meanwhile the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper and Egyptian media published a report Oct. 10 claiming that an Israeli delegation also arrived in Cairo at the beginning of the intra-Palestinian talks and met with top Egyptians.