Hamas and Fatah agree on unity government in Gaza

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Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have reached a “comprehensive” agreement in Cairo aimed at reviving their unity government, negotiators from both sides said on Thursday.

A member of the Fatah delegation, Jibril Al-Rajoub, informed reporters that both parties “have reached a comprehensive agreement on the return of the Palestinian Authority to the Gaza Strip”.

The decision was further confirmed by a member of the Hamas delegation, Moussa Abu Marzouk, who said that “an agreement was achieved”.

The Palestinian rivals had set up a unity government of independents in June but it never took hold, with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas accusing Hamas of running a “parallel” administration as de facto ruler in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas in turn accused Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, headquartered in Ramallah, of not paying its 45,000 employees in Gaza.

Fatah member Azzam Ahmed, however, said that “All civil servants will be paid by the unity government because they are all Palestinians and it is the government of all Palestinians.”

Fatah and Hamas delegates had resumed reconciliation talks in Cairo on Wednesday, in a bid to end their dispute over the control of the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, negotiations between Palestinian authorities and Israel will resume in October regarding the eight-year blockade of Gaza, which resulted in a two-month long (July-August) war between Hamas and Israel and claimed the lives of over 2,000 Palestinians.