Hamas, Fatah set steps for reviving deal

Acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Mahmoud Abbas (R) shakes hands with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. (file photo)

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have agreed to revive their unity deal, stalled for two years, by the end of January.

“Fatah and Hamas agreed at a meeting in Cairo on Thursday between delegations of the two movements on a timetable for implementing Palestinian reconciliation,” AFP quoted Azzam al-Ahmad, who headed Fatah’s delegation in Cairo talks, as saying on Thursday.

“We are in agreement on the mechanisms and timetable to end the division, the most important being the resumption of operations by the Central Election Commission (CEC) in the Gaza Strip on the 30th of the month at the latest and afterwards in the West Bank,” he said.

Al-Ahmad stated that Hamas and Fatah had agreed to renew talks about forming a transitional government.

The Cairo talks came following the January 9 meeting between the acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief, Mahmoud Abbas from the Fatah party and the Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal in the Egyptian capital.

In 2011, Hamas and Fatah signed a unity deal, which has not yet been implemented. The agreement was designed to lay the groundwork for the formation of a transitional government ahead of last year’s legislative election. But the process was halted.

Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in January 2006.

The dispute marginalized Hamas’ governance to the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli regime also reacted to the victory by laying a crippling siege on Gaza and keeping the impoverished strip under regular deadly attacks.

Fatah, however, set up headquarters in the Israel-occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.