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Palestinian Rivals Fatah, Hamas Sign Reconciliation Deal


Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas (file photo)

Hamas and Fatah have signed a reconciliation deal that officials say ends a decade-long rift between the two rival Palestinian factions.

Both sides called the agreement signed in Egypt's capital, Cairo, on October 12 a major breakthrough.

Under the accord, Hamas would hand over administrative responsibilities in the Gaza Strip to the West Bank-based government.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas said that the Cairo talks led to a "final agreement" to end the rival split between Hamas and Fatah.

Gaza and the West Bank have been ruled separately since 2007.

Hamas's 2006 victory in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections led to tensions between the two rivals that caused deadly clashes in Gaza.

In 2007, Fatah and Hamas agreed to form a coalition to end the growing factional violence, but Hamas later overran Gaza and set up a rival government, leaving Fatah and the Palestinian Authority running parts of the West Bank not under Israeli control.

In 2014, a reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah led to the formation of a national unity government, but the deal has never been fully implemented.

Based on reporting by the BBC, dpa, AP, and Reuters
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