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Report: Army warns Gaza's main al-Shifa hospital of impending strike
Egypt says Fatah, Hamas agree to enact unity deal
Published Thursday 10/01/2013 (updated) 19/01/2013 11:45
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Demonstrators attend a rally demanding national unity in Bethlehem.
(MaanImages/Haitham Othman, File)
CAIRO/GAZA (Reuters) -- An Egyptian official said the leaders of Hamas and Fatah factions had agreed at talks in Cairo on Wednesday to implement a long-delayed reconciliation pact, although it was unclear if the deal would extend beyond holding more talks.

President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah movement based in the West Bank and Khaled Mashaal of the Hamas group that controls the Gaza Strip met face-to-face for the first time in over a year to discuss how to implement their 2011 deal.

The rivals fell out badly when Hamas seized control of Gaza from Fatah by force in 2007. But they have drawn closer since Israel's assault on Gaza in November, in which Hamas claimed victory, and a diplomatic win by Abbas the same month in which the United Nations voted to recognize Palestine as a "non-member state".

"It was agreed that sides would begin immediately to implement the previously agreed mechanism of the agreement signed," a senior Egyptian official involved in the talks, who declined to be named, told Reuters by phone from Cairo.

Nabil Abu Rdaineh, a senior aide to Abbas, said the president had held a lengthy meeting with Meshaal in a "positive atmosphere". He said there was an agreement to hold more meetings, but declined to give details. No comment was immediately available from Hamas.

The two sides have signally failed to put into practice the deal they signed in Cairo in May 2011 to reunify the leadership of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

The Egyptian official said discussions to find ways to do so had been held in a "positive spirit", and that the rival factions would meet again in the first week of February to work out a timetable.

Egyptian mediators had hoped to coax Abbas and Mashaal into a meeting with Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi, but in the event they met without Mursi. Abbas is reluctant to accept any format that would imply giving the Hamas leader a status equivalent to his own.
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1 ) Happy clappy land just gets / further away than ever.
10/01/2013 13:24
Well this will at least simplify the situation for the Israel. Instead of having the West Bank gang claiming to be peaceful whilst constantly attacking them, and the Gaza gang constantly attacking them whilst claiming to be peaceful, they will now have one big gang all peacefully attacking together. I suppose if Pals look on the bright side, there will be an economy of scale that should bring down the price of the mullah's missiles, but I think it is more likely to raise the price of peace!

2 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
10/01/2013 14:59
If it works, it is an example to follow ! Egypt knows where to put its foreign policy priorities. A pity that others do not.

3 ) Haifawi / Palestine
10/01/2013 15:00
I think a bit of "good cop, bad cop" is exactly what Israel needs right now. "Stop construction, sit down, or else odrub odrub"

4 ) ABE / USA
10/01/2013 18:05
Reconciliation? This will never happen.

5 ) Tibi / Tubas
10/01/2013 19:01
Fatah agreed to enact the Oslo Accords deal too, and
Hamas will probably be NO more satisfied than Israel was,
with how the Fatah keeps promises - only if convenient !!!

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