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Details of new Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal to be announced this afternoon

13 October 2017

Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have reportedly come to a reconciliation deal which will allow the latter to resume control of the Gaza Strip.

Cairo is now leading efforts to heal a decade-long political split between Gaza-based Hamas and the West Bank-based Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"The legitimate government, the government of consensus, will return according to its responsibilities and according to the law", Fatah delegation chief Azzam Al-Ahmed said at the signing ceremony in Cairo.

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A Palestinian man and his daughter walk past a graffiti reading in Arabic "Division" in Gaza City, on September 17, 2017, after Hamas announced it had agreed to steps toward resolving a decade-long split with the Fatah movement and was ready to hold elections. Details of the deal will be made public at a news conference scheduled later for Thursday.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has congratulated by phone Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, on the intra-Palestinian agreement, signed earlier Thursday in Cairo. Leaders of both Palestinian factions began met in Cairo for an extended dialogue in order to initiate a mechanism for implementing the reconciliation agreements reached in the last few years. Hamas and Israel fought three devastating wars over the past decade. A small number of people, mainly medical patients, business people and aid workers, use the Erez crossing to enter Israel, usually bound for the West Bank.

A major sticking point has been the Hamas military wing and its arsenal, which Hamas has said is not up for discussion.

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Faced with increasing isolation and a severe electricity shortage, Hamas has reached out to Cairo for help, hoping to have the Rafah border with Egypt opened.

Reconciliation could also pose a dilemma for worldwide efforts to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal since Hamas has not recognised Israel, unlike the Abbas-led Palestine Liberation Organisation. Egypt has been brokering the reconciliation talks.

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Details of new Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal to be announced this afternoon