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CAIRO, October 12. /TASS/. Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed a political reconciliation deal in Cairo on Thursday, Aljazeera TV channel has reported.
The document was signed by the heads of delegations from both factions. The ceremony was held in the presence of Egypt's general intelligence chief, Khaled Fawzy. Egypt has been brokering the reconciliation talks.
The deal envisages that the national unity government will have full powers in all Palestinian territories - in the West Bank and Gaza - by December 1. The sides also agreed on handing over the Rafah crossing on the border between Egypt and Gaza to the presidential guard, controlled by the Palestinian administration in the West Bank.
Starting from next month, the border crossing will resume work and later will switch to round-the-clock operations.
A split between Palestine’s two major forces, Fatah and Hamas, occurred after the parliamentary elections in Palestine in 2006 when Hamas won. In June 2007, its militants seized power in the Gaza Strip. Since then, Palestine has been divided into two parts: Fatah controls the West Bank and Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.
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.
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. Later, Hamas announced some decisions for launching a direct dialogue of the conflicting parties and solving differences.
Since early this week, Egypt’s capital has hosted direct meetings of emissaries from two factions, which ended in signing the agreement.