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Friday, September 26, 2014

Palestine: Hamas and Fatah agreed to return unity government to take control over Gaza

Hamas and Fatah representatives of the officials delegations in
(Image: EPA)
Two Palestinian rival factions, Hamas, which is de facto ruler of the Gaza Strip, and Fatah have issued a joint statement on Thursday, 25 September, declaring their agreement to return unity government to take control over Gaza Strip and to regulate an issue of Gaza rebuilding and reconstruction after devastating 50 days long with Israel. The statement came after the two-days talks held between Hamas and Fatah in Cairo, with Egyptian mediation.

It’s worth mentioning though that such an agreement regarding forming the unity government appeared in June 2014. That government consisted of the independent experts and representatives of the both factions and was aimed at resolving the current problems of Palestine and Gaza as well, but that government never took hold due to the numerous internal disagreements and mutual accusations. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Hamas in creating the “shadow government” in Gaza Strip and in a “parallel administration” there, what caused many problems for the Palestinian cause and for the people of Gaza as well. Hamas in its turn accused Ramallah administration of not paying 45,000 of its employees working in Gaza.

Thus, after the talks between the delegations of the representatives of the both Palestinian factions held in Cairo the sides came to an agreement and issued their declaration regarding return of the unity government and strong willingness of the both sides to finally overcome their differences and disagreements and to unite their powers in order to create their strategy ahead of the upcoming peace talks with Israel to be held in October in Cairo, also with the Egyptian mediation.

Azzam Al-Ahmad, head of the Fayah delegation in Cairo, and Musa Abu Marzouk, senior official of Hamas, have issued a joint statement on Tuesday, stating that the territory of Gaza Strip will be controlled by the Palestinian authorities and the unity government. Jibril Rajoub, representative of Fatah, said to the journalists that “Fatah and Hamas have reached a comprehensive agreement for the unity government to return to Gaza Strip”.

The deal between Hamas and Fatah states that unity government will take control over the territories of Gaza Strip and will supervise the crossings into the Strip and take responsibility for the process of rebuilding and reconstruction of Gaza. In was agreed that all internal divisions in Palestine and Gaza will be set aside and a strong and united strategy will be declared ahead of the talks with Israel. The October talks to be held in Cairo between Palestine and Israel and hosted and mediated by Egypt are aimed at reaching a durable, long-standing ceasefire after the 50-days war (Operation protective Edge) in Gaza and the following rebuilding of the Gaza infrastructure. In addition to that Palestinian authorities and Hamas as well will demand to end the eight years blockade of Gaza, opening of the border crossing and establishing of the Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. This issue is being shared and supported by both Fatah and Hamas as well. Palestine also demands release of the Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli custody in the frameworks of the prisoners’ exchange program.

Unity government is expected to supervise the crossings into Gaza to facilitate its reconstruction. According to the official statement the sides have also reached an agreement regarding the issue of the construction materials.

This move is extremely important ahead of the upcoming peace talks with Israel to be held in October and also ahead of the International donors’ conference, to be held also in Cairo on 12 October and dedicated to the problem of reconstruction of Gaza. The agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah was also welcomed by the Egyptian authorities playing a significant role in resolving the current crisis in Gaza and mediating in the Palestinian-Israeli talks.