Hamas must disarm, recognise Israel under Palestinian unity deal

13 October, 2017, 00:42 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah shakes hands with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City on October 2

The agreement would see forces of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which is dominated by Fatah, take control of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt and all Palestinian factions would begin wider negotiations on the formation of a unity government in the coming two weeks.

Hamas's agreement to transfer administrative powers in Gaza to a Fatah-backed government marked a major reversal, prompted partly by its fears of financial and political isolation after its main patron and donor, Qatar, plunged in June into a major diplomatic dispute with key allies like Saudi Arabia.

The 2011 agreement stipulated that legislative, presidential and national council elections should be conducted within one year of its signing.

Celebrations broke out in the Gaza Strip after the announcement of the deal, with residents waving flags of Egypt, Palestine, Fatah and Hamas.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said he wants weapons to be under unified control.

"What has been announced is the essence of what has been agreed upon and not everything that has been reached", Member of Fatah Central Committee Azzam al-Ahmad said in a press conference in Cairo. In June 2007, its militants seized power in the Gaza Strip.

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

The accord will see the consensus government officially take full administrative control of Gaza by December 1, according to a statement issued by Egypt's state media center.

The crossing has remained largely closed in recent years.

Over the past decade, each side deepened control over its territory, making it increasingly hard to forge compromises, and repeated attempts at reconciliation failed.

Struggling with the fallout from the border blockade, Hamas has found it increasingly hard to govern or provide basic services, such as electricity.

The publicly-released parts of the agreement did not specify what would happen to Hamas' armed wing.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Palestinians against "bogus reconciliations", and reiterated Tel Aviv's demand for the disbandment of Hamas's military arm.

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.


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