Sisi: Hamas-Fatah unity a step towards Israel-PA peace

Egyptian President says he hopes the prospect of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas will pave the way to broader Israeli-PA peace.

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Elad Benari,

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi
Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi
Reuters

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said on Sunday that he hopes the prospect of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas will pave the way to broader Israeli-Palestinian Arab peace, i24news reported.

"The Egyptian moves aimed at helping the Palestinian brothers to start a new stage of unity of the Palestinian ranks pave the way for a just peace between Palestine and Israel," Sisi said in an official statement.

The Egyptian president added that he also hopes it will bring about "the establishment of an independent Palestinian state to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a secure, stable and prosperous life."

His statement came as representatives from both sides are set to arrive in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Monday to push ahead with talks aimed at reconciling following a ten-year feud.

Hamas and Fatah, which is headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas violently took control of Gaza in a bloody coup. All attempts to reconcile the sides have thus far failed.

A unity government between the sides collapsed in 2015 when Abbas decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the sides.

Recently, however, Hamas announced it was willing to hold talks with Fatah and dismantle the Gaza administrative committee, which served as a local independent governing authority.

Following that announcement, PA leader Rami Hamdallah visited Gaza for the first time in two years.

Sisi has attempted to play a role in the Israeli-PA peace efforts. During the UN General Assembly last month, he met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, marking the first time the two have held public talks. They twice met for closed-door talks in 2016.

He later urged Palestinian Arabs to overcome their differences and be ready to co-exist with each other and with Israelis in safety and security.

Addressing Israelis, the Egyptian president said, "We have an excellent experience in Egypt in peace with you for longer than 40 years."

"We can repeat this experience and this excellent step once again - the peace and security of the Israeli citizens together with the peace and security of the Palestinian citizens,” he added.