Palestinian unity gov't takes back public sector employees in Gaza

29 November, 2017, 01:12 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Internal differences within Fatah over reconciliation with Hamas

The reconciliation agreement reached on October 12 said they would solve the issue of the employees by February 2018, but also said Hamas would hand over full control of Gaza by December 1. Fatah officials have demanded that the PA control all weapons in the Strip, while Hamas officials have stated that their armed wing, the Izzeldin Kassam Brigades, will not be disarmed.

"The weapons of the resistance are a red line that is non-debatable", Khalil al-Hayya, deputy head of Hamas in Gaza, told a press conference, referring to the Qassam Brigades.

Hamas has ruled Gaza, while Abbas's Fatah has controlled autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. "It is our right to resist the occupation until it ends".

Although the argument is being made that Hamas will be sitting in a government that as a body accepts the preconditions including recognition of Israel, adherence to previously-signed agreements and non-violence so the Palestinian entity should not be penalized, many U.S. lawmakers reject the logic and will demand that Hamas lay down its arms.

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Last month, Hamas and Fatah - Palestine's two leading political movements - signed a landmark reconciliation agreement in Cairo aimed at healing their decade-long rift after Hamas captured Gaza from Fatah in 2007 after days of street fighting.

Sheikh said the PA has also struggled to assert full authority over Gaza's border crossings, which were handed over to the PA on November 1.

"The first sponsor of the division is Iran", Ahmad, the primary Fatah official in charge of discussing reconciliation with Hamas, said in an interview with the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya news outlet, in a rare rebuke of Iran from a Palestinian official.

Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.

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