Hamas-Fatah reach a reconciliation-agreement in Cairo

The leader of the Islamist Hamas Organizations Ismail Haniyeh announced that a reconciliation agreement was reached with the rival Palestinian faction Fatah, under the auspices of Egyptian mediation, declaring that Hamas “will go to any length to implement the unity deal and turn over a new leaf in the history of (their) people,” effectively ending the age of Palestinian division. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction confirmed an agreement was reached, but declined to provide additional details. The negotiating teams of the rival Palestinian factions reportedly discussed issues of security, civil servants and the control of border crossings, including the enabling of the Palestinian unity government to take over the administrative responsibilities in the Gaza Strip, based on the Cairo agreement of 2011. Egyptian officials told TV7 that an Egyptian document was brought forward in which it calls for an international conference to be held in the near future and for the Egyptian embassy to be reopened in the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi, during his weekly cabinet meeting this week, declared the Palestinian reconciliation efforts as preparing the ground for the establishment of peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The Egyptian leader, who has urged the leaderships of both Israel and the Palestinians to seize this historic opportunity for peace as part of the latest US-brokered efforts to reignite the long-stalled negotiations, warned that the reality on the ground may provide both peoples with a last opportunity to acquire a viable solution to the decades old conflict.

Meanwhile, an Israeli delegation reportedly arrived in Cairo earlier this week for meetings with senior members of the Egyptian intelligence apparatus. The meeting, which lasted only for a few hours, aimed at discussing regional challenges, including the Palestinian reconciliation talks in Cairo. Israeli officials refused to comment on the matter.