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Hamas and Fatah sign unity deal

Hamas and Fatah sign unity deal”

Certain success in overcoming the split was reached in September when Cairo hosted talks of Egypt's intelligence first with the Hamas delegation and then with Fatah emissaries.

"Israel will study the developments on the ground and will act accordingly", the official said on condition of anonymity.

"Israel and the global community should insist that the Palestinian unity government accept the conditions of the Quartet and Security Council Resolution 1850: recognition of Israel, a commitment to the two-state solution, and the cessation of terror and incitement", a statement from Peretz's office said.

The figure is however a fraction of the more than 20,000 police officers employed separately by Hamas.

The announcement comes after representatives from Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) convened in Cairo on Tuesday to implement a unity agreement that was signed in 2011 but not put into action, Al Jazeera reported.

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The crossing with Egypt may require more time for the handover, with construction work now underway there.

He added that sanctions taken by Abbas against Gaza will also soon be lifted. A senior Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip, Zakaria al-Agha, said that Abbas "will be in Gaza within less than a month".

The West Bank and the Gaza Strip have remained politically and administratively divided since 2007, when Hamas wrested control of the strip from Fatah following several days of street fighting.

The Fatah official stressed that President Mahmoud Abbas instructed the delegation not to return without a reconciliation deal.

The official was referring to the diplomatic Quartet on Middle East peace, which includes the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russian Federation. Hamas and Israel fought three devastating wars over the past decade.

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Faced with increasing isolation and a severe electricity shortage, Hamas has reached out to Cairo for help, hoping to have the Rafah border with Egypt opened.

Since then, the relations between the two rival factions have been very tense and all attempts to reconcile them over the past years have failed to bring fruit.

Sticking points include control over the arsenal of Hamas' armed wing and the fate of thousands of Hamas public servants.

Ahead of the negotiations in Cairo, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu warned against "fake reconciliations" and stated once again that Israel demands the demilitarization of Hamas.

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