CAIRO – 10 October 2017 Representatives of the Palestinian movements, Fatah and Hamas, will meet Tuesday in Cairo in the second round of reconciliation negotiations between the two parties in the Egypt-brokered initiative to end a 10-year rift.
After many failed attempts, a significant breakthrough was achieved in the reconciliation talks between the two Palestinian factions.For the first time since 2014, the internationally recognized Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallahheld last week a governmental meeting in Gaza. A move that recovered hope in ending the deepest rift Palestine has ever experienced. However, the hard part begins now.
Tuesday’s meeting is expected to discuss a number of controversial issues,the most difficult of which would be the security authority in the Gaza Strip and borders.
In an interview with Egypt’s CBC channel, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Hamas to surrender its weapons to the Palestinian Authority. “I will not accept reproducing the Hezbollah experience… We are one state, one system, one law and one weapon,” said Abbas.
Hamas proved its good intentions when it accepted the dissolution of its administrative committee and expressed willingness to hold parliamentary elections. Nonetheless, Abbas’s remarks clashed with a sharp rejection from Hamas’s leadership which stressed that disarmingits military wing is not up for discussion as long as Israel occupiesPalestinian territories.
Hamas’s strong military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, is estimated to have 20,000-25,000 fighters in its ranks. These forces enabled the Islamic movement to take control ofGaza after it ousted Fatah representatives from the territory in 2007. Therefore,the Palestinian Authority made itself clear from the very beginning that it would not accept a scenario in the Gaza Strip in which Hamas’s armed wing would be able to hold onto its weapons.