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Hamas, Fatah sign reconciliation deal in Cairo

Hamas, Fatah sign reconciliation deal in Cairo

Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas, said that a deal had been struck after two days of talks brokered by Egypt.

"Any reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas must meet the Quartet's conditions - accepting worldwide agreements, recognizing Israel, and disarming Hamas", Israeli officials said in a statement after the deal was announced.

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

"As long as Hamas remains armed and as long as it calls for the destruction of Israel, Israel will consider Hamas responsible for any terror attack originating from Gaza", the official said.

A statement from Netanyahu's office said that Israel "will examine developments in the field and act accordingly".

"Israel and the global community should insist that the Palestinian unity government accept the conditions of the Quartet and Security Council Resolution 1850: recognition of Israel, a commitment to the two-state solution, and the cessation of terror and incitement", a statement from Peretz's office said.

The Fatah and Hamas delegations in Cairo have officially signed a reconciliation agreement on Thursday to end a decade-long political split.

Local media reports that Mr Abbas is to travel to Gaza in the next few weeks, which would mark his first visit to the Strip in 10 years.

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Since that seizure of power, Hamas - which is considered a terrorist organisation by both Israel and the United States - has ruled Gaza while Fatah, led by Palestinian figurehead Mahmoud Abbas, has controlled the West Bank.

The figure is however a fraction of the more than 20,000 police officers employed separately by Hamas.

The document was signed by the heads of delegations from both factions.

The source added that security officials from Ramallah would soon hold a series of meetings in Gaza with their counterparts from Hamas to discuss means of handing over security responsibility for the blockaded coastal enclave.

A split between Palestine's two major forces, Fatah and Hamas, occurred after the parliamentary elections in Palestine in 2006 when Hamas won. Multiple previous reconciliation efforts have failed.

He said the unity government would "run all institutions without exception", including all border crossings with Israel and in Rafah, Gaza's only access point with Egypt.

Egyptian chief of intelligence, Khalid Fawzi, presided over the signing as Hamas' representative, Saleh al-Arouri, and Fatah's negotiator, Azzam al-Ahmed, signed on.

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.


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