Alwaght- Palestinians have welcomed the signing of the historical Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement that ends decade old animosity while enabling resistance movements to concentrate on confronting the occupying Israeli regime.
In the besieged Gaza Strip, hundreds of people gathered on Thursday in Gaza City's Unknown Soldier Square to celebrate the signing of the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement.
The participants raised Palestinian and Egyptian flags and banners celebrating the end of internal division. They also distributed sweets to passers-by in celebration of the agreement.
Hamas and Fatah movements reached a reconciliation agreement at dawn Thursday following two rounds of talks held in Cairo under Egyptian mediation.
Head of the PA delegation Azzam al-Ahmad and head of the Hamas delegation Saleh al-Arouri signed the agreement, which focused on fully implementing the PA’s authority over Gaza, and joint management of the enclave’s border crossings.
According to al-Ahmad, Hamas and Fatah agreed that the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza would be operated by PA presidential guards by November 1.
Hamas military wing issue unresolved
Several key issues, however, such as the status of Hamas’ military wing, and the future of between 40,000 and 50,000 civil servants that have been hired by Hamas since the faction took over Gaza in 2007 remain unresolved. Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said that "the next phase of reconciliation will be a meeting of representatives of all the Palestinian factions in Cairo to discuss the major national issues - such as Hamas's military wing, the issue of weapons and political positions.”
During a press conference, al-Ahmad said the most important thing moving forward “is to implement the particulars of the agreement so that the government will fully function.”
On behalf of Hamas, al-Arouri said "we promise to implement the reconciliation agreement, and we will do everything to continue the reconciliation,” adding that the agreement will be implemented in stages.
Abbas terms deal an achievement
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas released a statement shortly after the agreement was signed, welcoming the deal as an “achievement” that “speeds up the process of ending division and regaining unity of Palestinian people, land and institutions.”
Abbas instructed the unity government to work across all departments and services to execute the agreement, and called upon all Palestinian factions and parties “to put in all efforts to achieve the people’s will of regaining unity.”
Hamas ready to implement deal
Meanwhile, Head of Hamas's Political Bureau Ismail Haniyah on Thursday affirmed his group’s readiness to fully implement Cairo reconciliation agreement.
In a phone conversation with head of Egyptian Intelligence Gen. Khaled Fawzy, Haniyah declared his Movement’s participation in a comprehensive dialogue with Palestinian factions.
Elsewhere, Hamas Political bureau member, Salah al-Bardawil, called on the Palestinian unity government to assume its duties and lift its punitive measures on Gaza.
Speaking during a press conference held in the Gaza-based Hamas office, al-Bardawil said the first protocol of the unity deal, enabling the unity government to run Gaza’s affairs, was signed on Thursday in Cairo and will be implemented simultaneously in the West Bank and Gaza.
Islamic Jihad calls for strategy to confront Israeli regime
Islamic Jihad Movement welcomed Thursday the signing of Palestinian reconciliation agreement while stressing the importance of taking all necessary measures to alleviate the suffering of the people of Gaza, to end sanctions imposed on Gaza, and to stop political arrests in the West Bank.
It also called for adopting a national strategy that confronts Israeli occupation and achieves national liberation.
Hamas was democratically elected to rule the Gaza Strip since 2007 after the party defeated President Abbas' long-dominant Fatah party in parliamentary elections.
Fatah excited Gaza and refused to recognize newly elected Hamas leadership leading to an impasse including an inhuman Israeli imposed blockade.