Hamas announces Palestine reconciliation agreement with Fatah

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Gaza, Oct 12 (IANS) The leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Thursday announced it had reached a reconciliation agreement with its rival, the nationalist party Fatah, following the first round of talks under Egyptian mediation.

Both Palestinian factions reached agreement two weeks after negotiations began at the Egyptian central intelligence headquarters, Efe news reported.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh announced in a statement that the deal had been closed, without providing further details.

Israeli radio station Kan, citing Palestinian sources, reported that Fatah and Hamas had discussed civilian administration and interior security.

Both sides left weapons issues and the question of Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, for the next round of negotiations, according to Kan.

Hamas said in the statement that the details of the agreement would be revealed later in the day.

The initial round of talks was aimed at initiating a mechanism for implementing the reconciliation agreements reached in the last few years.

It followed the historic visit of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to Gaza last week, when his government officially took over control of the Strip.

Despite the agreement, there were plenty of issues that were yet to be resolved. The issues included the future of 25,000 members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which Hamas considers non-negotiable.

Also among the pending topics were Israel’s demand to dissolve Hamas, since the Israeli government considers the movement a terror organisation, as well as cutting the group’s ties to Iran, Israel’s main geopolitical foe in the region.

–IANS

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