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Abbas appears set to compromise for Fatah-Hamas reconciliation

A Fatah delegation is in Cairo to discuss reconciliation with Hamas, carrying a broad mandate from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to compromise on control of security forces in Gaza.
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A Fatah delegation led by PLO Executive Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad, the movement's chief negotiator with Hamas, arrived in Cairo on July 29. Its mission is to discuss the statement of principles prepared by Egyptian intelligence on ending the split between the two rival movements. A senior Fatah source told Al-Monitor that the delegation will respond favorably to most of the proposals and that a deal is likely to be sealed within the coming weeks unless new obstacles emerge or Hamas reconsiders its acceptance.

The main point of contention that has thus far precluded agreement between the sides is control of the security forces in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Fatah chief and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has in the past adamantly refused to countenance a Hezbollah-type Lebanese model that would allow Hamas to maintain an armed militia in Gaza while Abbas exerts control only over Gaza's civilian affairs. Abbas has refused to conduct a dialogue with Hamas for almost a year, since October 2017, for as long as it has refused to compromise on the matter of security control and to disarm its armed wing. The Palestinian source said Abbas has given the go-ahead for the Fatah delegation to agree to the Egyptian document in principle, without preconditions, and to now delay resolution of the security issue to a later date.

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