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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Hamas and Fatah 'reach agreement'

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The Palestinian group Hamas says it has reached an agreement with rival group Fatah, ending a decade-long rift.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said details of the deal would be released later on Thursday. Fatah has not commented.

Egypt has been brokering reconciliation talks in Cairo.

Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have been ruled separately since deadly clashes between the two groups broke out in 2007.

The pro-Hamas Palestinian Information Centre announced the agreement, saying details would be revealed at a news conference in Cairo at midday.

On Wednesday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the talks in Cairo had been "serious and deep".

"The talks are positive and the Egyptian side is even-handed," he said, according to the Palestinian Information Centre.

Last month, Hamas agreed to dissolve the committee that rules Gaza.

The move had been a key demand of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas whose Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority controls the West Bank.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah then made a rare trip to Gaza.

He said the Palestinian Authority would begin taking control of Gaza's administrative affairs and "security responsibilities".

Hamas as a whole, or in some cases its military wing, is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the US, EU, UK and other powers.

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