Hamas, Fatah Ink Deal on Palestinian Reconciliation

Senior Christian Priest Father Manuel Musallam

Senior Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri (left) sits next to Fatah's Azzam al-Ahmad as they sign a reconciliation deal in Cairo on Thursday.

"This reconciliation agreement concludes the conflict among our Palestinian brothers", Kalin said in a statement.

The terror group Hamas has reportedly agreed to halt its attempts to carry out attacks against Israelis from the West Bank under the Palestinian reconciliation agreement signed Thursday with its rival faction Fatah, which controls the Palestinian Authority.

The deal is just an early step in a longer process that could end a decade-long split that has almost paralyzed Palestinian political leadership and increased the misery for Gazans in need of jobs and aid.

The crossing has remained largely closed in recent years.

"Our house is one".

Members of Palestinian forces loyal to Hamas take part in a military parade in Gaza City on July 26, 2017 amid a tense standoff between Israel and Muslim worshipers at Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

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The deal also includes handing over of Rafah crossing in the Gaza Strip to the unity government by November 1. Unemployment is high, and electricity and clean water are scarce.

"As a Palestinian citizen, my Prime Minister is Rami Hamdallah", said al-Hayyah, who stressed that Cairo agreement "was not new, but was a new Egyptian-sponsored round of dialogue that would lead to practical results".

A year after Hamas rejected the terms, the boycott and Israel's economic blockade of Gaza came into force, and remains in effect today.

The figure is a fraction of the number of police officers employed by Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip. One of the key sticking points will be the fate of Hamas's 25,000-strong military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. Abbas has said he would not take over Gaza until Hamas gave up its weapons.

The deal would see both Hamas and Fatah form a Palestinian government to appoint the prime minister and ministerial positions. And he said a reconciliation deal makes peace harder to achieve.

"We welcome the continuing engagement of Egypt, and we expect all Palestinian factions to move forward in good faith in further process, in order to enable the legitimate Palestinian Authority to resume full control in Gaza", she added.

Hopes for the agreement, signed under the watchful eye of Egyptian intelligence, were tempered by the knowledge that many previous Palestinian initiatives have failed.

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