Hamas says it has reached deal with Palestinian rival Fatah in Cairo

Hamas says it has reached deal with Palestinian rival Fatah in Cairo

The two major Palestinian parties, Fatah and Hamas today will announce the final reconciliation agreement in a press release in the Egyptian capital of Cairo at 1:00 PM today.

Palestinian sources said conquest and Hamas will organise a press conference on details of agreement at noon. "We make every effort possible to implement it to start a new chapter in the history of our people", Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem told Reuters.

PA President and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told Egyptian television last week that he would not accept a scenario in which Hamas's armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, kept control of its weapons.

Fatah and Hamas delegates began meeting in Cairo on Tuesday for Egypt-mediated talks on bringing the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) government, which is aligned with Fatah. In 2014, Fatah and Hamas agreed to a national reconciliation government, but Hamas' shadow government continued to rule the Gaza Strip despite the deal.

Security cooperation between Fatah and Hamas could include, among other things, the deployment of 3,000 Fatah security officers, who would join the Gaza police force over a period of 12 months. The development follows two days of Hamas-Fatah talks in Cairo under what Haniyeh called "generous Egyptian auspices".

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"The talks are positive and the Egyptian side is even-handed", he said, according to the Palestinian Information Centre.

The crossing has remained largely closed in recent years.

Last week, Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah visited Gaza for the first time since 2015 and his ministers officially took control of government departments in the territory.

It has fought three wars with Israel since 2008 and the blockaded Gaza Strip has faced deteriorating humanitarian conditions. Israel's enmity with Hamas means greater unity with Fatah is unlikely to help any future efforts for a peace deal with Israel. Hamas, in turn, has said that it will not disarm, even if it is willing to give Abbas control of the Gaza government.

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