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Hamas won't give up military wing despite agreement

Fatah and Hamas have deferred discussion on the fate of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
Palestinian Hamas militants carry a coffin containing the body of their fellow comrade Rami Meshmish during his funeral in the central Gaza Strip April 16, 2014. Meshmish and another fellow militant were killed in an accidental explosion on Wednesday, al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas movement, said in a statement. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3LJNS

The April 23 reconciliation agreement signed by Palestinian leaders did not address the most contentious issue between them: the weapons of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing. Both Fatah and Hamas thought it best to pass on the issue to avoid it posing an obstacle to reconciliation.

One factor complicating matters, Al-Monitor learned from the Ministry of Finance in the Gaza Strip, is that some 25,000 employees in the Hamas government work in the security services, and most of them belong to the Qassam Brigades. According to one Qassam military official, after the formation of the next government, these employees will take orders from the brigade's military leadership, not their current manager at the Ministry of Interior. 

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