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Hamas: Deal reached with Palestinian rival Fatah

Hamas: Deal reached with Palestinian rival Fatah

Fatah's Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters that he welcomed the agreement.

"We hope they won't disappoint our people and break the joy", said Rahaab Kanaan, 55.

"Israel will study the developments on the ground and will act accordingly", the official said on condition of anonymity.

He added that all Palestinian factions would begin wider negotiations on the formation of a national unity government in the coming two weeks.

A split between Palestine's two major forces, Fatah and Hamas, occurred after the parliamentary elections in Palestine in 2006 when Hamas won.

Tahir en-Nunu, press adviser to Hamas ' political Bureau president Ismail Heniye, said, "Heniyye declares that Hamas and Fatah reached an agreement in morning at time of Egypt's mediation".

Two weeks before this, another meeting will be held in Cairo (on November 14) between representatives of all Palestinian factions, the same source said, adding that this meeting would discuss "mechanisms" for implementing the reconciliation agreement.

The sides also agreed on handing over the Rafah crossing on the border between Egypt and Gaza to the presidential guard, controlled by the Palestinian administration in the West Bank.

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The crossing with Egypt may require more time for the handover, with construction work now underway there. The ceremony was held in the presence of Egypt's general intelligence chief, Khaled Fawzy.

Islamist movement Hamas is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union.

Gaza, which sits on the Mediterranean coast and is fenced in by heavily-patrolled barriers on three sides bordering Israel and Egypt, has been a frequent battleground over the past decade, during which Hamas has fought three wars with Israel.

Previous attempts at reconciliation have repeatedly failed, and many analysts are treating the latest bid with caution, waiting to see if actual change will occur on the ground.

The U.S. says it wants the Palestinian Authority to take control of Gaza again.

Al-Ahmed highly appreciated the Egyptian role and keenness to achieve Palestinian reconciliation, stressing that Egypt is the sponsor of the Arab national security, including the Palestinian security.

Sticking points include control over the arsenal of Hamas' armed wing and the fate of thousands of Hamas public servants.


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