Hamas, Fatah sign deal on Palestinian reconciliation

Hamas had a compromise with conquest

Further information will be announced at a noon news conference (10GMT) in Cairo, where unity talks between the rival factions began on Tuesday.

The agreement was signed by Hamas representative Saleh al-Arouri and Fatah negotiator Azzam al-Ahmed in a short ceremony today (October 12) following two days of talks brokered by Egypt. The Hamas takeover, which came a year after the group defeated Fatah in Palestinian parliamentary elections, left Abbas with autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Hamas's agreement to transfer administrative powers in Gaza to a Fatah-backed government marked a major reversal, prompted partly by its fears of financial and political isolation after its main patron and donor, Qatar, plunged in June into a major diplomatic dispute with key allies like Saudi Arabia.

Hamas seized the Gaza Strip from Fatah in 2007.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said he wants weapons to be under unified control.

Hamas does not recognise Israel and has fought three wars with the Jewish state since 2008.

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

Faced with increasing isolation and a severe electricity shortage, Hamas has reached out to Cairo for help, hoping to have the Rafah border with Egypt opened. A small number of people, mainly medical patients, business people and aid workers, use the Erez crossing to enter Israel, usually bound for the West Bank.

With Hamas in control, conditions in Gaza deteriorated.

Sticking points include control over the arsenal of Hamas' armed wing and the fate of thousands of Hamas public servants.

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.

Ahead of the negotiations in Cairo, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu warned against "fake reconciliations" and stated once again that Israel demands the demilitarization of Hamas.

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