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In phone call, United Nations chief offers congratulations and support to Palestinian President

13 October 2017

Hamas and Fatah have reached a reconciliation agreement in Cairo, Reuters reports citing the Palestinian Information Centre. Such a move would restore a great deal of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' influence in Gaza while weakening Hamas' control. Over the past few weeks, Palestinian Premier Rami Hamdallah with the government travelled for the first time in over two years to Gaza to start procedures to gain control of the Strip.

"What has been announced is the essence of what has been agreed upon and not everything that has been reached", Member of Fatah Central Committee Azzam al-Ahmad said in a press conference in Cairo.

The Western-backed Abbas hasn't set foot in Gaza since 2007, when the Islamic militant Hamas, his main ideological rival, seized the territory after days of factional street battles.

Israel viewed the Palestinian accord warily, saying it must abide by previous worldwide agreements and terms set out by the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators - including the recognition of Israel and the disarming of Hamas.

Over the past decade, each side deepened control over its territory, making it increasingly hard to forge compromises, and repeated attempts at reconciliation failed.

The crossing has remained largely closed in recent years.

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With Hamas in control, conditions in Gaza deteriorated.

The two sides remain sharply at odds, however, over the future of Hamas's 25,000-strong armed wing, which the terror group says is nonnegotiable.

Struggling with the fallout from the border blockade, Hamas has found it increasingly hard to govern or provide basic services, such as electricity.

The readout of the Secretary-General's phone call comes as media outlets are reporting that Egyptian-facilitated talks in Cairo have led to a breakthrough in the talks among Palestinian parties on administration in the Gaza Strip.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with Sissi in NY last month, denounced the reconciliation efforts, saying any future Palestinian government must disband the Hamas terror group's armed wing and sever its ties with Iran.

In phone call, United Nations chief offers congratulations and support to Palestinian President