Hamas, Fatah Formally Sign Unity Pact

By JTA

Published May 04, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

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 over whether the head of the Islamist Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, should sit on stage and be allowed to speak.

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.

“Our battle is with the Israeli enemy and not with Palestinian factions,” Mashaal said in an address following Abbas.

The reconciliation agreement will form an interim Fatah-Hamas government to run the West Bank, which is now controlled by the Palestinian Authority, and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Parliamentary and presidential elections will take place within a year. Abbas has said he will not be a candidate.

The document was signed in front of members of Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has governed Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak was deposed in January. Arab members of Israel’s Knesset also attended the signing, according to reports.

In an interview with Israel Radio shortly before the signing, Nabil Shaath, a senior Abbas aide, said it was unfair for international leaders, including the Mideast Quartet, to demand that Hamas recognize Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday during a meeting with Quartet envoy Tony Blair called on Abbas to halt the agreement.

“I call on Abu Mazen to annul the agreement with Hamas immediately and choose the path of peace with Israel,” Netanyahu told Blair during their meeting Tuesday to discuss the stalled peace process and other diplomatic issues including the elimination of Osama bin Laden, according to a statement issued from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas is a hard blow to the peace process,” the Israeli leader said. “How is it possible to achieve peace with a government, half of which calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and even praises the arch-murderer Osama bin Laden?”






Find us on Facebook!
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.