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Progress, No Breakthrough in Palestinian Reconciliation Efforts

Progress, No Breakthrough in Palestinian Reconciliation Efforts

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018 - 07:30
Head of Hamas delegation Saleh Arouri and Fatah leader Azzam Ahmad sign a reconciliation deal in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Ramallah - Kifah Ziboun
Progress has been made in Palestinian reconciliation efforts, without reaching a breakthrough, according to well-informed Palestinian sources.
The new Egyptian intelligence apparatus is planning to hold intensive meetings with Fatah and Hamas officials to guarantee the handover of Gaza institutions to the Palestinian Authority, as the key to ending divisions and holding general elections.
The sources also said that Minister Abbas Kamel, the head of the Egyptian Intelligence, who has recently met with representatives from Fatah and Hamas, was convinced that the implementation of the agreement signed between the two sides in October needed more efforts, concentration and solving outstanding issues.
According to Kamel, “empowering the PA” was a key factor in resolving such issues, the sources said.
In this regard, the Egyptian minister heard Hamas’ approval on the issue of empowerment, but with specific requests on ending the sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip and integrating former government employees with the staff of the Palestinian Authority, in addition to solving the problems of the sector.
Hamas’ position came during a meeting with Kamel a few days ago in Cairo, upon an invitation from Egypt, following an encounter between the intelligence chief and Azzam al-Ahmed, member of Fatah Central Committee and the PLO.
The latter expressed Fatah’s insistence on empowering the government and the implementation of the agreement signed in Cairo. He also told Kamel that when the government is empowered, it would solve problems gradually, including staff problems.
Fatah Movement confirmed that it had heard from Egyptian officials the results of their discussions with Hamas.

Fatah Spokesman Atef Abu Saif said in a press statement that the Palestinian leadership would study this issue at its next meeting and take the appropriate position.

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