Hamas reconciles with Palestinian Authority in Gaza

Wednesday, 04 Oct, 2017

The battle left Hamas in control of Gaza but not the West Bank.

"To those who want to make such a reconciliation, our understanding is very simple", Netanyahu said at a meeting of his Likud party "[they must] recognize the State of Israel, dismantle the military wing of Hamas, sever the connection with Iran, which calls for our destruction, and so on". Hundreds of others lined the streets to greet him, preventing the motorcade from making a stop at a Fatah official's house for a planned lunch meeting. Approximately 25000 members are part of Hamas force that fights with weapons ranging from handheld grenades to rockets. No further public events were scheduled Monday.

The holding of this council of ministers is to illustrate the progress of the reconciliation between the palestinian Authority and the islamist Hamas movement after a decade of strife devastating.

In recent months, strained relations between Egypt and Hamas have somewhat improved, and Egypt has agreed to renovate the passenger terminal at Rafah in return for Hamas' agreement to boost security along the border between Gaza and Egypt.

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Abbas staked out a tough line on reconciliation with Hamas, warning he would not tolerate any solution short of the disarming of its Izzedin Al Qasam militia. We have realized the real national unification.

"We will not allow our national cause to be dragged in any Arab or global disputes", he said.

Hamdallah's ministers are expected to begin taking over government ministries after Tuesday's meeting, with negotiations in Cairo on more hard issues in the coming weeks.

President Mahmoud Abbas with his guest, Egyptian special envoy Khaled Fawzi, in Ramallah.

Peace efforts between the two groups have failed in the past, mainly as a result of the violent wing of Wamas that remains an obstacle.

"We shall build here thousands of housing units" and add industrial zones, Netanyahu said during a visit to the Maaleh Adumim settlement of 37,000 people.

Several factors appear to be working in favor of reconciliation. "Regarding the weapons of the resistance, as long as there is a Zionist occupation on Palestinian land, it is the right of the Palestinian people to possess weapons and resist the occupation in all of forms of resistance". Egypt is overseeing the effort to bring the two factions together and the parties are scheduled to hold talks in Cairo next week on the details of the unity bid. It marks the first step in the most ambitious attempt at reconciliation since Hamas seized power of the coastal strip in 2007.

On Tuesday, Hamas announced that it would not accept giving up its weapons arsenal, a key demand that both Fatah and Israel have put forth in order for talks to move forward.

Reconciliation being a high priority for ordinary Palestinians, and given that Hamas said it accepted his terms, Abbas could hardly reject the offer.

Hamas could not "copy or clone Hezbollah's experience in Lebanon", he warned on Monday, referring to a situation where an independent armed group exerts major influence on national politics. He also withheld salaries for Gaza civil servants.