Hamas to Give PA Responsibility for 'Everything Above Ground' in Gaza

English edition of Asharq Al-Awsat - the world's premier pan-Arab daily.

On Thursday, Hamas and Fatah signed a landmark reconciliation agreement in Egyptian capital Cairo aimed at ending 10 years of deep inter-Palestinian political division.

In a statement, an official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirmed the Kingdom's hope that this significant breakthrough would fulfill the aspirations of the Palestinian people for achieving national unity and ending the Palestinian internal division, in order to enable the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights in line with the global resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

Palestinian unity could also bolster Abbas's hand in any revival of talks on a Palestinian state in Israeli-occupied territory.

Hamas and Fatah officials held two days of talks in Cairo this week about a Palestinian Authority return to Gaza.

A decade ago, Hamas forces seized the Gaza Strip from Fatah forces in a brief civil war. Internal Palestinian strife has been a major obstacle to peacemaking, with Hamas having fought three wars with Israel since 2008 and continuing to call for its destruction.

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across Gaza on Thursday in celebration of the unity pact, with loudspeakers on open cars blasting national songs, youths dancing and hugging and many waving Palestine and Egyptian flags.

That triggered the political rupture between Hamas and Fatah, which eventually led to their short civil war in Gaza.

"The agreement will allow the national unity government to fully carry out its tasks in both the Gaza strip and the West Bank of Jordan", the head of the Fatah delegation said, according to Sputnik.

The US State Department also welcomed the deal on Friday, according to Hurra News, with spokeswoman Heather Nauert saying that it is an important step for Gaza to get humanitarian aid, MENA said.

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