By Nick Clark
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Hamas surrenders Gaza Strip to Fatah

This article is over 6 years, 7 months old
Issue 2576
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu (Pic: MathKnight/Wikicommons)

Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed a deal last week that will see the Palestinian Authority (PA) take over the Gaza Strip.

Under the deal Palestinian resistance group Hamas will hand over control of Gaza to the PA on 1 December—after ten years under Israeli siege.

The PA, which already governs the West Bank, is set to take control of Gaza’s border crossings by 1 November.

Hamas has also reportedly agreed to halt attacks on Israel from the West Bank.

Hamas was elected to lead the Palestinian government in 2006, but faced a Fatah-led coup backed by Israel and the US.

Resistance

Fatah had given up armed resistance to Israel in 1993 while Hamas promised to keep fighting.

The battle left Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip while Fatah took charge of the PA in the West Bank.

But the decade-long Israeli siege of Gaza—punctuated by bloody assaults—kept Hamas under pressure. Now the deal, brokered by powerful US ally Egypt, shows how Hamas has been weakened.

Yet a spokesperson for Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel would not recognise the agreement “as long as Hamas does not disarm”.

Hamas has so far rightly refused to disband its armed wing or renounce resistance to the Israeli occupation.

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