Contributed from Victoria
Palestinian organisations Hamas and Fatah have signed a reconciliation agreement that will nad over control over the Israeli occupied Gaza to joint administration.
Representatives of each had been involved in talks in Cairo, due to involvement of Egypt as mediator.
According to the terms, Fatah, under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas will take responsibility of the Rafah crossing on November 1, through Fatah’s presidential guard and the administration of Gaza will pass to a unity government of both organisations.
The aim is to bridge over differences between the two and work together for the revival of peace talks, based on a two state compromise that will add pressure on Israel to move towards an acceptable resolution and desist from the increasingly hard line stance and stepped up settler occupations on Palestinian territory.
For the Palestinians and particularly Hamas, this is a significant compromise, shifting away from its previous one state and destruction of Israel position.
Catalyst for the change is a recognized need to strengthen international recognition and the context of Israel’s growing diplomatic difficulties, despite ongoing support from Washington, under the Trump administration.
There is also a wish to mitigate the economic and social impact on the residents of Gaza, caused by the imposition of a severe trade blockade by Israel that has been devastating the economy, including causing severe restrictions to basic services and the availability of medicines.
Israel has reacted to the agreement negatively, suggesting that by working together, the Palestinians would make the prospect of peace “harder”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Twitter, “Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas makes peace much harder to achieve.”
On hearing the news, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across Gaza in celebration.
Although previous agreements broke down, the level of cooperation is greater this time around and the prospect that this agreement will hold is goods.