Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Unity Government to take control of Gaza by December 01

Unity Government to take control of Gaza by December 01

It was signed in Cairo by new Hamas deputy leader Salah al-Aruri and Azzam al-Ahmad, the head of the Fatah delegation for the talks, at the headquarters of Egypt's intelligence service, which oversaw the negotiations.

The reaction was Israel's first after the two major Palestinian factions agreed on a unity deal in the Egyptian capital on Thursday afternoon, which is supposed to see the internationally recognised Palestinian Authority retake control of Gaza from Islamists Hamas by December 1.

Celebrations broke out in the Gaza Strip after the announcement of the deal, with residents waving flags of Egypt, Palestine, Fatah and Hamas.

Fatah officials said the two sides agreed that the Palestinian Authority would take over responsibility for Gaza's border crossings no later than November 1 and that full governing responsibilities would be handed over to the Palestinian Authority by the beginning of December.

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Four family members of Parray including his father, two brothers and aunt were injured in the militant attack. The identity of militants, suspected to be from Pakistan-based Lashkar-a-Taiba, was yet to be ascertained.

In a press statement, Egypt expressed its deep appreciation to the Fatah and Hamas movements for the positive spirit of the two delegations which led to reaching this agreement.

The deal includes 3,000 members of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority's police force redeploying to Gaza, a member of the negotiating team told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He added that sanctions taken by Abbas against Gaza will also soon be lifted. In June 2007, its militants seized power in the Gaza Strip. But last month Hamas agreed to cede powers in Gaza to President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah-backed government in a deal mediated by Egypt.

The crossing has remained largely closed in recent years. Hamas and Israel fought three devastating wars over the past decade.

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Struggling with the fallout from the border blockade, Hamas has found it increasingly hard to govern or provide basic services, such as electricity.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Palestinians against "bogus reconciliations", and reiterated Tel Aviv's demand for the disbandment of Hamas's military arm.

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across Gaza on Thursday in celebration of the unity pact, with loudspeakers on open cars blasting national songs, youths dancing and hugging, and many waving Palestine and Egyptian flags.

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