Fatah and Hamas Agree to Unity Government for Gaza


Fatah and Hamas have decided that a national unity government will take responsibility for running Gaza as part of a "comprehensive" deal agreed upon following reconciliation talks in Cairo. 

As part of the agreement, Hamas deputy leader Musa Abu Marzouk announced that the Palestinian Authority (PA) government would soon "officially assume control over government institutions in Gaza," as well as jointly man border crossings with Israel and Egypt. 

"We have set the reconstruction as high priority," Marzouk said, referring to PA's planned administration of the reconstruction process in Gaza as another outcome of the agreement. He also maintained that the meetings had led to broad agreement on creating mechanisms to permit the import of construction materials into Gaza to facilitate the reconstruction process. 

In regard to the concerns that building materials could be used by Hamas to create weapons, Mazouk said, "What we did now is facilitating...and providing all mechanisms to help donors, and give them assurances about the process from the beginning to end." The reconstruction process will rely on donations from European and other Western countries.  

Additionally, around 40,000 PA civil servants who have been out of work since 2007 when Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip will return to their jobs. It is still unclear as to whether they will receive full salaries, which has been left for future negotiations. 

According to Abbas aid Azzam al-Ahmed, Hamas, Fatah, and other Palestinian factions have formed a committee to discuss unresolved pressing issues such as the question of civil servant salaries. 


Photo courtesy of IPS News Agency

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