PA, Hamas miss reconciliation deadline

Both sides blame each other for failure of reconciliation to take root.

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AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff,

Hamas Fatah Reconciliation
Hamas Fatah Reconciliation
Flash 90

Palestinian Arab factions Fatah and Hamas have missed a major deadline in their reconciliation
bid by failing to exchange power in the Gaza Strip, with the rival movements on Monday trading accusations of blame.

US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has further complicated an already difficult attempt to transfer power in Gaza from Islamist movement Hamas back to the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority, including the Gaza Strip, have seen protests and clashes each day since Trump's declaration on Wednesday.

Sunday had been the deadline for the handover, a decade after Hamas seized power in the enclave in a near civil war with PA chairman's Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah.

An Egyptian-brokered agreement in early October originally set a December 1 deadline for full transfer of power back to the Palestinian Authority, though that was later pushed back to December 10.

In Gaza, the situation remained unchanged, with Hamas police still patrolling the streets, while crippling electricity shortages endured.

Hamas claimed on Saturday it had handed over control of all government ministries, but Fatah's top negotiator later said "obstacles" remained.

PA government spokesman Yousef Mahmud said Monday it had not received full control in key ministries.

In a statement on official PA news agency WAFA, he accused Hamas of seeking to stop the handover.

Fawzy Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, told AFP that Mahmoud's statement was an attempt to "cover up the government's failure to carry out its duties to the people of Gaza."

Palestinian Arabs and international players had hoped that a reconciliation deal could lead to the easing of Israeli and Egyptian blockades on Gaza, reducing the suffering of the two million people largely trapped in the enclave.

Both sides still publicly said they were committed to the reconciliation, but fears that it could collapse are growing.

They appear no closer to an agreement about the future of Hamas's vast military wing, which has fought three wars with Israel since 2008, while they must still resolve the issue of two separate civil administrations.








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