The Hamas terror organization and Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization signed an agreement Thursday on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo, with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas calling it a "final" accord.
Under the agreement, the Palestinian Authority is to resume full control of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by December 1, according to a statement from Egypt's government.
Abbas welcomed the deal in comments to AFP and said he considered it a "final agreement to end the division" -- though many details remain to be resolved and previous reconciliation attempts have repeatedly failed.
It was signed in Cairo by new Hamas deputy leader Salah al-Aruri and Azzam al-Ahmad, the head of the Fatah delegation for the talks, at the headquarters of Egypt's intelligence service, which oversaw the negotiations.
Celebrations broke out in the Gaza Strip after the announcement of thet deal, with residents waving flags of Egypt, the PA, Fatah and Hamas.
Negotiations are now expected to be held on forming a unity government, with the various Palestinian Arab political movements invited to another meeting in Cairo on November 21.
An official from Abbas's Fatah movement said the PA chairman was planning to soon travel to the Gaza Strip as part of the unity bid in what would be his first visit in a decade.
Sanctions taken by Abbas against Hamas-controlled Gaza will also soon be lifted, the Fatah official said. (Read Article)