Hamas must disarm, recognise Israel under Palestinian unity deal

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah shakes hands with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City on October 2

Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah shakes hands with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City on October 2

It also added that the Presidential Guard of President Mahmoud Abbas will operate the border, under a reconciliation deal.

He went on to say that, according to the terms of the deal, Presidential Guard units linked to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) would be deployed along Gaza's southern border with Egypt no later than November 1.

"Egypt's involvement and the entry of the PA into Gaza is an opportunity for change, but as long as Hamas remains an armed terrorist organization, Palestinian reconciliation is a legitimacy for Hamas and terrorism rather than a takeover [by the PA]".

"President Abbas has instructed the government, and all of its institutions, to work hard towards the implementation of what has been agreed to in Cairo", Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported.

An Egyptian source close to the talks said intelligence chief Khaled Fawzi had followed the talks closely.

Struggling with the fallout from the border blockade, Hamas has found it increasingly hard to govern or provide basic services, such as electricity, to Gaza's people. And he said a reconciliation deal makes peace harder to achieve.

An official from Abbas's Fatah movement said the Palestinian president was planning to soon travel to the Gaza Strip as part of the unity bid in what would be his first visit in at least a decade.

However in September Hamas agreed that it would give up its power over Gaza, paving the way for this week's reconciliation talks.

The statement said that the Palestinian Concession government should assume the administration affairs of the border before December 1, while working on removing all division suffered problems.

Hamas seized Gaza from Fatah in a near civil war in 2007 and the two factions have been at loggerheads ever since.

"Any reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas must meet the Quartet's conditions - accepting global agreements, recognizing Israel, and disarming Hamas", Israeli officials said in a statement after the deal was announced.

The preliminary deal being announced on Thursday came after two days of talks between Hamas and Fatah in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

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