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Hamas says it has reached deal with Palestinian rival Fatah in Cairo

12 October 2017

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said details of the deal would be released later on Thursday.

Hamas and Fatah have reached a deal over political reconciliation, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said on Thursday without providing further details.

On Wednesday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the talks in Cairo had been "serious and deep".

The two sides had been meeting in the Egyptian capital this week with the aim of ending a crippling decade-old split between the rival factions. It failed to function in Gaza, where Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008, because of disputes between Hamas and Fatah over its responsibilities.

Over the past week, the parties have expressed divergent views about the future of Gaza's security.

"The talks are positive and the Egyptian side is even-handed", he said, according to the Palestinian Information Centre.

Faced with increasing isolation and a severe electricity shortage, Hamas has reached out to Egypt for help, hoping to have the Rafah border opened. The loss damaged Abbas' credibility in the eyes of the West and Israel, after years of being their main Palestinian diplomatic counterpart.

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On the other hand, some argue decertification and the possibility of USA sanctions on Iran might win support from the Europeans. Several US officials have said Trump might this time choose not certify the accord.

Egypt has also agreed to provide fuel to the Gaza Strip for electricity production.

Sissi has stressed that he believes reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas could pave the way for Middle East peace.

Repeated reconciliation attempts have failed since 2007.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah then made a rare trip to Gaza.

But the move was seen as mainly symbolic, with Hamas still effectively in charge in the Palestinian enclave of two million people bordered by Egypt, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea.

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

A Palestinian man and his daughter walk past a graffiti reading in Arabic "Division" in Gaza City, on September 17, 2017, after Hamas announced it had agreed to steps toward resolving a decade-long split with the Fatah movement and was ready to hold elections.

Hamas says it has reached deal with Palestinian rival Fatah in Cairo