Hamas reconciles with Palestinian Authority in Gaza

Marsha Scott
October 5, 2017

"The only way to statehood is through unity", Hamdallah said on Monday before a meeting with Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Yehiyeh Sinwar.

The video was played as Egyptian intelligence head Khaled Fawzy met with Hamas and Palestinian Authority leaders in the Gaza Strip.

"Everything must be in the hands of the authority".

Israel, however, says it will reject any deal between the two factions in which Hamas is allowed to keep its weapons. There would be "one state, one system, one law and one weapon", he said. Fatah, which runs the Palestinian Authority, has been responsible for administering areas of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. It's not yet clear what will become of Hamas' armed brigades, a sticking point for Israel.

However, Haniyeh said that Hamas is prepared to discuss "how and when to resist" with Fatah and other Palestinian groups.

Hamas recently dissolved its authoritarian government, saying it is ready to hold elections in a move to unify the two sides.

Hamdallah will oversee the Authority's assumption of administrative responsibilities in Gaza. The halt to electricity payments has caused frequent blackouts, further disrupting daily life in the territory. Last month, the Islamists announced they were willing to cede civilian control in Gaza to the PA, after Egyptian pressure.

Mr Abbas attributed Hamas's dismantling of the administrative committee to the sanctions he imposed.

"Hamas demanded that the people's grievances be addressed in the meeting", he said. "If they want to join the PLO, they must commit themselves to PLO policies".

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Hamdallah on Tuesday described the meeting as a major step in reconciliation efforts.

In yet another extremist statement, he said that, "Israel must stop acting as [an] ATM for terrorism..."

"We are here to close and forever (turn) the page on division and steer our national project back to its right track to end the Israeli occupation based on worldwide law and United Nations resolutions", he reportedly said.

The formation of a unity Palestinian government - one of the hoped-for outcomes of the talks - is complicated by the fact that the United States and Israel in particular, as well as the European Union, insist that any Palestinian government abide by the "Quartet principles", including recognition of Israel.

Hamdallah also called on Palestinians to unify around the Palestinian leadership and overcome factional differences.

After 2007, Hamas started to issue its own legislation for the Gaza Strip and ruled through the caretaker government. We have the will to promote the peaceful settlement and have the courage to take the responsibilities brought by the settlement agreement to end the split.

"The government began to exercise its roles in Gaza from today", Hamdallah said.

Huge posters of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who brokered the reconciliation effort, were featured outside Abbas' residence as Hamas policemen were deployed all around.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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