Israel sets conditions for Hamas-Fatah deal

Israel sets conditions for Hamas-Fatah deal

Israel sets conditions for Hamas-Fatah deal

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has chaired a unity cabinet meeting in Gaza as part of national reconciliation efforts between his Fatah party and Hamas.

"In the West Bank some people are talking about a complete governmental takeover in Gaza, whereas within Hamas, the language being used is all about political power sharing".

Both movements fell out in 2007 after Hamas chased out Fatah members in the wake of 2006 elections won by the Islamist movement.

He said all outstanding administrative issues, including the issue of public employees, would be gradually dealt with in the framework of the 2014 Cairo agreement "within the available resources".

The Palestinian cabinet met in the Gaza Strip today for the first time since 2014.

In a significant concession, Hamas has agreed to turn over all governing responsibilities to Hamdallah.

Hamas, considered a terrorist group by Israel and the West, last month disbanded its Gaza shadow government after Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates imposed an economic boycott on its main donor, Qatar.

Qassem pointed out that Hamas' decision to dissolve its administrative government was a strategic step that they will uphold.

But key sticking points, primarily Hamas' refusal to disarm its powerful military wing, are likely to complicate or even derail the reconciliation efforts in the coming weeks.

Washington on its part attempted to play a role in the issue as Trump announced his intention to broker a peace deal involving the Palestinian Authority.

In Gaza City, a new round of reconciliation talks has emerged between Hamas and the government. Hania said in the TV interview that Hamas is working with Egypt to improve security on the Gaza border. Palestinian militants have fired about 11,000 rockets into the Jewish state since Israel removed its soldiers and settlers from Gaza in 2005.

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 and thousands of Gazans have been killed.

Egyptian Intelligence Minister Khaled Fawzy will arrrive in Gaza to meet with PA officials and Hamas leader Ismail Haniya on Thursday.

The Trump administration's worldwide negotiations representative, Jason Greenblatt, called on the Palestinians on Monday to recognize Israel and commit to nonviolence, while applauding the Palestinian reconciliation efforts amid the latest round of renewed US-led peace efforts in the region. But with all the unknowns, she says, people in Gaza remain deeply sceptical about whether the symbolic ceremonies will lead to any changes on the ground this time around.

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