Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Palestinian Groups Hamas, Fatah Sign Unity Deal

GAZA/CAIRO (Reuters) – Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal on Thursday after Hamas agreed to hand over administrative control of Gaza, including the key Rafah border crossing, a decade after seizing the enclave in a civil war.

The deal brokered by Egypt bridges a bitter gulf between the Western-backed mainstream Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, an Islamist movement designated as a terrorist group by Western countries and Israel.

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

The Palestinian accord was met warily in Israel.

For Israel to accept it, said one government official, the deal must abide by previous international agreements and terms set out by the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators – including the recognition of Israel and Hamas’s giving up its weapons.

Hamas and Fatah agreed in 2014 to form a national reconciliation government, but the deal soon dissipated in mutual recriminations with Hamas continuing to dominate Gaza.

The agreement calls for Abbas’s presidential guard to assume responsibility of the Rafah crossing on Nov. 1, and for the full handover of administrative control of Gaza to the unity government to be completed by Dec. 1.

Analysts said the deal is more likely to stick than earlier ones given Hamas’s growing isolation and realization of how hard Gaza, its economy hobbled by border blockades and infrastructure shattered by wars with Israel, was to govern and rebuild.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.