Hamas says reached deal with Palestinian rival Fatah

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In this Saturday, March 17, 2007 file photo, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh from Hamas, right, raise their linked arms as they move through the crowd at a special session of parliament in Gaza City. Palestinian officials from the rival Fatah and Hamas movements said Wednesday, April 27, 2011, they have reached an initial agreement on ending a four-year-old rift that has left them divided between rival governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa, File)

Reuters Staff

CAIRO/GAZA (Reuters) – Palestinian rival factions Hamas and Fatah have reached a deal over political reconciliation, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement on Thursday without providing further details.

A Hamas official told Reuters that details are expected to be released at a noon news conference in Cairo, where unity talks between the rival factions began on Tuesday.

The Western-backed mainstream Fatah party lost control of Gaza to Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the West and Israel, in fighting in 2007. But last month Hamas agreed to cede powers in Gaza to President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah-backed government in a deal mediated by Egypt.

“Fatah and Hamas reached an agreement at dawn today upon a generous Egyptian sponsorship,” Haniyeh said in a statement.

Egypt has helped mediate several attempts to reconcile the two movements and form a power-sharing unity government in Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas and Fatah agreed in 2014 to form a national reconciliation government, but despite that deal, Hamas’s shadow government continued to rule the Gaza Strip.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and; Hesham Hajali in Cairo; Writing by Eric Knecht; Editing by Michael Perry

 

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