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Hamas, Fatah reach Palestinian reconciliation deal

12 October 2017

Fatah and Hamas have reached a reconciliation agreement following the talks between the two rival Palestinian factions in Cairo, Hamas' political bureau chief announced this morning.

Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement that details would be announced in Cairo later on Thursday.

Details of the agreement have not yet been released and a press conference is expected at 1000 GMT in the Egyptian capital. Hamas's reversal was the most significant step toward Palestinian unity since the government was formed in 2014.

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have remained politically and administratively divided since 2007 when Hamas wrested control of the strip from Fatah following several days of street fighting.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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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.

Repeated reconciliation attempts have failed since 2007.

"We want to extend the rule of law to Gaza as [has been done] in the West Bank", Qawasmeh said in a statement.

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

Under the deal, 3,000 Fatah security officers will join the Gaza police force.

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

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (right) and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh hold hands in Gaza City October 2, 2017.

It has fought three wars with Israel since 2008 and the blockaded Gaza Strip has faced deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

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

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Hamas, Fatah reach Palestinian reconciliation deal