Hamas and Fatah 'agree deal' for unified Palestinian government

Hamas and Fatah 'agree deal' for unified Palestinian government

Hamas and Fatah 'agree deal' for unified Palestinian government

"Any reconciliation between the (Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority) and Hamas must include a commitment to global agreements and to the conditions of the Quartet, first of which is recognising Israel and demilitarising Hamas", the official said in the Israeli government's first reaction to the deal signed in Cairo.

"Fatah and Hamas reached an agreement at dawn today upon a generous Egyptian sponsorship", Haniyeh said in a statement. Over the past few weeks, Palestinian Premier Rami Hamdallah with the government travelled for the first time in over two years to Gaza to start procedures to gain control of the Strip.

The agreement stipulates that legislative, presidential and national council elections should be conducted within one year of its signing, though details of the reconciliation deal have not yet been made public.

"We also extend our thanks and appreciation to President Abbas who had the desire and the real will to end the division and restore the unity of the brotherly Palestinian people", the statement read.

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

According to the text of the agreement signed by both parties, Egypt mediated the deal in order to "achieve Palestinian unity in order to. establish an independent Palestinian state" in Gaza and the Israel-occupied West Bank.

Gaza, which sits on the Mediterranean coast and is fenced in by heavily-patrolled barriers on three sides bordering Israel and Egypt, has been a frequent battleground over the past decade, during which Hamas has fought three wars with Israel.

There was no indication that an understanding had been reached on the fate of Hamas's armed wing, a sticking point which analysts have said could yet scupper reconciliation efforts.

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across Gaza on Thursday in celebration of the unity pact, with loudspeakers on open cars blasting national songs, youths dancing and hugging, and many waving Palestine and Egyptian flags.

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