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'Initial' reconciliation deal signed in Cairo
Published Wednesday 27/04/2011 (updated) 28/04/2011 14:20
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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Hamas and Fatah signed an initial reconciliation agreement in Cairo on Wednesday, officials told Ma'an.

The deal is to form a caretaker government and set a date for elections. The details will be made clear at a news conference in Cairo, said Ash-Shaqaqi, the head of a delegation of independents pushing the deal.

Hamas leader Izzat Ar-Rishiq confirmed the signing of an initial agreement with Fatah, according to a statement published by the Palestinian Information Center, a Hamas-affiliated website. Ar-Rishiq said Cairo will call all the Palestinian factions to sign the final reconciliation within the week with the presence of Mahmud Abbas and Khalid Mash'al.

Fatah spokesman Azzam Al-Ahmad told the Al-Quds Voice radio in Gaza that the agreement forms a technocratic government that represents all Palestinian factions. He added that Egypt will invite all the factions in early May to hear their notes and to sign the final deal.

Delegations from the rival Palestinian factions arrived in Cairo on Wednesday to hold talks, Palestinian sources said. The teams were to meet Egypt's new spy chief Murad Muwafi, whose predecessor Omar Suleiman tried unsuccessfully to bridge a split that has left Gaza and the West Bank ruled by rival administrations.

The delegation of the Islamist movement Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip includes senior members from the territory and its Damascus-based deputy leader, Moussa Abu Marzouq.

Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza, has tried to bring the two sides together since Hamas defeated Fatah loyalists in week-long street battles four years ago, reducing their power base to the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Nabil Al-Arabi, Egypt's new foreign minister, has said he plans to visit Ramallah, seat of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas who heads Fatah, to push for unity.

The factions were on the verge of agreeing a deal in 2009 that would have led to a transitional government ahead of elections when Hamas pulled out, saying the accord had been revised without its approval.


AFP contributed to this report.
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1 ) Abu TRD / Palestine
27/04/2011 20:02
Nice. Now make it work.

2 ) Ann / USA
27/04/2011 20:20
Wow!!!

3 ) outsider / EU
27/04/2011 20:22
Amazing - and about time too. There is so much to be done and so much within their grasp now. Let cool heads prevail.

4 ) marge / US
27/04/2011 21:16
Glad to hear Fatah and Hamas have reconciled and hope this reconciliation will be permanent, since other reconciliations have not held. This reconciliation will not stop the US-Israel team from doing everything in their power to stop it, or from trying to separate the West Bank from Gaza. Just hope Abbas and PA continue to work with international community for a Palestinian State, and accept that the US-Israel team is evil and out to prevent Palestinian unity and keep them in occupation.

5 ) Mel / Gaza
27/04/2011 21:44
A step in the right direction Inshallah!

6 ) Tissa / Sri Lanka
28/04/2011 10:31
At last some good news. Are we seeing some light at the end of the tunnel?

7 ) Aaron / USA
12/06/2011 01:34
People have been asking that question for decades... Really the question is what is this light? What should be the goal - for what should we advocate - toward what end ought unity between Hamas/Fatah (insha'allah) strive? I think two states side by side is a pipe dream. One state with equal rights with all people is the only way - it is the light at the end of the tunnel. But how much blood will be spilt before we get to bathe in that light - that's another question...
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