Bennet to demand 'complete disconnection' from PA following reconciliation deal

Posted October 16, 2017

Hamas representative Saleh al-Arouri speaks after signing a reconciliation deal with senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad, during a short ceremony at the Egyptian intelligence complex in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017.

"This reconciliation agreement concludes the conflict among our Palestinian brothers", Kalin said in a statement.

The deal includes 3,000 members of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority's police force redeploying to Gaza, a member of the negotiating team said on condition of anonymity.

The United Kingdom and other nations were wrong to boycott Hamas after it won the Palestinian election in 2006, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in an interview for a new book on Gaza.

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According to the agreement, the Western-backed Palestinian Authority will resume all governing responsibilities in Gaza no later than December 1. But instead, the global community should have tried to "pull Hamas into a dialogue", Blair said in an interview for Donald Macintyre's "Gaza: Preparing for Dawn", which is set to be released in November.

"Hamas may be willing to cede more administrative control of Gaza", he said, "but the parties have so far avoided the issues likeliest to derail the talks: namely, the relationship with Israel and what to do with Hamas's military wing", he was quoted by the New York Times as saying.

President of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmud Abbas welcomed the deal and said he considered it a "final agreement to end the division" - though many details remain to be resolved and previous reconciliation attempts have failed.

A number of Hamas attacks against Israeli military and civilian targets have been thwarted there this year, according to Israeli media.

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One of the key issues has been punitive measures taken by Abbas against Gaza in recent months, including reducing electricity payments that left the territory's residents with only a few hours of power a day.

Under the accord, control of Gaza will also be transferred to the PA. Hamas and Israel fought three wars over the past decade.

How does Israel see the Palestinian reconciliation?

In 2007, when the two groups could not agree on sharing power, Hamas drove Fatah leaders out of Gaza and wrested control of the seaside territory, leaving Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in control only of parts of the West Bank.

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