Fatah, Hamas sign reconciliation deal in Cairo

Hamas had a compromise with conquest

Rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas signed an Egyptian-brokered deal on Thursday to end their decade-old rift and allow a unity government to take administrative control of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas and Fatah officials held two days of talks in Cairo this week about a Palestinian Authority return to Gaza.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump chat as White House senior advisor Jared Kushner is seen in between them, during their meeting at the King David hotel in Jerusalem May 22, 2017.

Cairo is now leading efforts to heal a decade-long political split between Gaza-based Hamas and the West Bank-based Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

While details about the deal are still scarce, it appears that Fatah - the ruling party in the West Bank - will have more control over Gaza, run by Hamas since the split.

Egypt has been keen to improve security in the Sinai Peninsula which borders Gaza and where jihadist rebels have fought a long-running insurgency.

"We must close the page of division forever to unite the efforts of the Palestinian people with all its forces, specially Fatah and Hamas, so that we can confront the occupation in order to realize the Palestinian dream of ending the occupation and establishing our sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital", he said.

This could be a sticking point for any reconciliation efforts moving forward.

The readout of the Secretary-General's phone call comes as media outlets are reporting that Egyptian-facilitated talks in Cairo have led to a breakthrough in the talks among Palestinian parties on administration in the Gaza Strip.

Over the past decade, each side deepened control over its territory, making it increasingly hard to forge compromises and repeated attempts at reconciliation failed. Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on the territory, severely restricting Palestinians from leaving the territory and goods from entering.

With Hamas in control, conditions in Gaza deteriorated.

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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