SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Hamas and Fatah on Thursday reached a partial agreement on governing the Gaza Strip, signaling a major step forward in reducing their deep-seated enmity. Senior Palestinian official said Mahmoud Abbas’ government, which runs the West Bank, will press forward with a United Nations bid to set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of lands captured in the 1967 war, after efforts to enlist American support for the effort ran aground.
“Work with the Americans about the possibility of joint action in the Security Council has reached an impasse,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, adding that he expects the Palestinian delegation in New York to propose a U.N. resolution on the issue within three weeks. The purpose of the resolution is to set the groundwork for the formal establishment of a Palestinian state.
After days of discussions with Fatah leaders in Cairo, Hamas’ deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk described the new Gaza deal. “We and Fatah have reached a deal today on reconciliation,” he said. “The deal states that a [unity] government can officially assume control over government institutions in Gaza.”
Hamas and Fatah have a long history of dashed hopes. They agreed in April to form a unity government in Gaza, now ruled by Hamas, but the government never really took hold amid long-standing tensions between the factions. The tensions spiked in recent weeks over Fatah claims that Hamas’ conduct of the recent Hamas- Israel war led to unacceptably high losses of life and damage to property. The need to present a joint front ahead of planned donor talks for Gaza’s reconstruction may be pushing the rival factions together now, even if sustainable reconciliation remains to be achieved. On the U.N. resolution aimed at establishing a deadline for Israel to withdraw from the lands captured in the 1967 war, Erekat said a provisional draft would be ready by Friday.