The rival factions announce a new agreement, but the public is skeptical.
Tel Aviv — When the rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, first signed a reconciliation agreement last May in Cairo, young political activists in Gaza went outside to celebrate.
But after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshal announced on Monday a new agreement in Qatar on the formation of an interim government to prepare the first national elections in years, there was no such public rejoicing.
When Fatah signed its power-sharing agreement with Hamas back in May the deal was hailed as part of Mahmoud Abbas' bold strategy to bolster his bid for U.N. recognition and membership by showing the Palestinians were united in their desire for statehood.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Palestinian rival factions Fatah and Hamas in a formal ceremony signed a unity agreement, repairing a four-year rift.
The ceremony Wednesday in Cairo was delayed for two hours after a question about whether the head of the Islamist Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, should sit on stage and if he would speak at the event.
The signing of the unity deal turns "the black page of division," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Fatah party, said following the signing at the Egyptian intelligence headquarters.
Without respected economic reformer, Western aid seen in jeopardy; Bibi trip to D.C. ‘made easier’ by deal.
In their quest to form a unity government, the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have apparently shoved aside Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, a move that analysts believe may doom their planned new enterprise.
“It would be very difficult without him,” said Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center. “I think [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas will have to take some steps back from this.”
Wednesday’s Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement, the result of secret negotiations in Cairo over a period of weeks, is yet another complication for an Obama administration facing a tidal wave of political change in the Middle East and new international pressure to resume active Israeli-Palestinian mediation.
According to press reports, the deal includes the creation of an interim government and elections to be called within a year.
(JTA) -- The rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed to a reconciliation deal.
The surprise deal to form an interim government and hold general elections within a year was reached in secret negotiations in Cairo between the two sides, according to reports. A formal announcement of the reconciliation reportedly will be made next week.
“All points of differences have been overcome," said Taher Al-Nono, a Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, according to Reuters.
Despite moves toward unity, extremists seen unlikely to give Abbas power in Gaza.
Tel Aviv — For a moment last week in the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians became heady with visions of unity.
After thousands of youths turned out in the squares of the Palestinian territories draped in flags and raising posters calling for an end to the feud between the two main political factions, President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas seemed headed for a détente consecrated at a Gaza Strip summit.
“God has answered my prayers,” said Palestinian oil and gas tycoon Munib Masri, a member of the Palestine Legislative Council.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Thousands of Palestinians rallied for unity in Ramallah and Gaza City.
The rallies on Tuesday were organized on Facebook by young Palestinian activists who are calling for an end to the division between Fatah, which governs the West Bank, and Hamas, which ousted Fatah and took over Gaza in 2007.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians reportedly gathered in Gaza City's Square of the Unknown Soldier. Rallies in Gaza City reportedly began on Monday out of fear the Tuesday rallies would be quashed by Hamas.