Egypt says Hamas, Fatah to sign peace pact Oct 25

Source: Reuters

CAIRO, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Egypt said on Tuesday rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, are expected to sign an Egyptian-brokered reconciliation pact on October 25th in Cairo. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said in remarks published by state news agency MENA that Arab foreign ministers will be invited to attend the ratification ceremony. Egypt has been mediating for over a year to heal the split between the Fatah group of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas since the Islamist movement took control of the Gaza Strip in a brief civil war. The pact, if signed, could pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections to be held next year. Fatah administers the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Hamas rules Gaza — the two territories where Palestinians want to establish their future state following a peace deal with Israel. The pact calls for a joint committee of members from Hamas, Fatah and other political parties that would liaise between the internationally isolated Hamas government in Gaza and Abbas’s Western-backed Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. Hamas would also be able to supervise a joint police force in Gaza in the run-up to the June elections, something Fatah sees as cementing Hamas control there after what it calls the “coup” of June 2007. The pact is expected to end a dispute between the two rivals over hundreds of political detainees jailed in the two territories. (Writing by Mariam Karouny, editing by Dominic Evans)
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