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Hamas and Fatah compromise
13 October 2017, 12:36 | Floyd Cook
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah shakes hands with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City on October 2
Fatah party lost control of Gaza to Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the West and Israel, in fighting in 2007.
Egypt has previously attempted to help Hamas and Fatah create a united government for Gaza and the West Bank.
The Fatah and Hamas delegations arrived in Cairo on Monday and held two days of talks to finalize the reconciliation agreement under the sponsorship of the Egyptian authorities. Hamas and Fatah agreed in 2014 to form a national reconciliation government, but despite that deal, Hamas's shadow government continued to rule the Gaza Strip.
The agreement calls for Abbas's presidential guard to assume responsibility of the Rafah crossing on November 1, and for the full handover of administrative control of Gaza to the unity government to be completed by December 1.
Gaza has been subject to an Israeli blockade and Fatah strangulation of electricity and other resources since, which has crippled the economy and left much of the two million strong population dependent on aid.
Meanwhile, Egypt invited the convening of a meeting in Cairo on 21/11/2017 for all the Palestinian factions that signed the Palestinian National Accord Agreement on May 4, 2011.
The agreement is believed to include transfering administration of the border crossing between Gaza strip and Egypt to a unity government.
In a press statement, Egypt expressed its deep appreciation to the Fatah and Hamas movements for the positive spirit of the two delegations which led to reaching this agreement.
Hamas does not recognise Israel and has fought three wars with the Jewish state since 2008.
Israel viewed the Palestinian accord warily, saying it must abide by previous worldwide agreements and terms set out by the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators - including the recognition of Israel and the disarming of Hamas. Direct negotiations began on Tuesday, with a marathon second day stretching into the early hours of Thursday.
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.
One of the key sticking points will be the fate of Hamas's 25,000-strong military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.
"Israel will examine developments in the field and act accordingly", said a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.
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