by WorldTribune Staff, August 7, 2017
A deal proposed by Egypt to unify Hamas and the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah party has been accepted by Hamas, according to reports.
Under the deal proposed by Egyptian President Abdul Fatah Sisi, the PA would be committed to ending harsh actions it has taken against Hamas in Gaza since April, Arabic media outlet Ma’an News Agency reported on Aug. 6.
PA leader Mahmoud Abbas was reportedly offered the deal by Sissi in July but turned it down. Arab media reported Abbas initially accepted Sisi’s offer but then refused and presented a counteroffer for a reconciliation agreement.
Middle East analysts said Abbas wants to make a deal with Hamas to prevent the Gaza-based group from forming bonds with Abbas’s rival Mohammad Dahlan.
Dahlan has been seen forming closer ties to Hamas, including attending a public meeting with Hamas members of parliament last month, the first time he has attended such a meeting in a decade.
Dahlan was Abbas’s ally inside the Fatah party but was expelled after the two leaders had a falling out in 2011.
Analysts say Dahlan, who now lives in exile in the United Arab Emirates, could join a government in the Gaza Strip.
A portion of the Palestinian Legislative Council, which has not met in full since Hamas seized Gaza from Fatah in a near civil war in 2007, held an emergency session in July.
Dahlan attended via video link, while seven of his allies in Gaza attended in person – along with 22 Hamas members, according to Hamas’s media office.
The 132-member parliament is dominated by Hamas with 74 members, while Fatah has 45.